Written by Sarah Swann
Willimantic, CT - Nearly two dozen candidates running for offices in November will participate in a Candidates Forum on April 14 at Eastern Connecticut State University. The candidates, which include individuals running for U.S Senate, U.S. Congress, Connecticut Governor, Connecticut Attorney General and Connecticut Secretary of State, will present their platforms and tell why they are running for office from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The public is invited. Admission is free.
Candidates include Jerry Farrell Jr. and Corey Bringson, running for Secretary of State; Martha Dean running for Attorney General; Michael Fedele, Duffy Acevedo, Larry DeNardis, Tom Marsh and Dr. Scott Merrell, running for Governor of Connecticut; and Linda McMahon, Rob Simmons, Vinny Foras and John Mertens, running for U.S. Senate.
"The Eastern Conservatives Club, a student organization at Eastern, is sponsoring the forum to promote more political awareness at the university," said club president Stephen Lyon. "By setting up a candidate meet-and-greet forum, we hope to increase the participation of the student body in the public arena. Decisions being made today will affect them today and in the future as they build their lives and careers. Apathy is one of the biggest issues facing those that are often referred to as the 'next generation.' One way to change this is to emphasize that they (students) are not the 'next generation,' but the current generation. They're not the voters of tomorrow; they're the voters of today!"
Lyon said he started the club after meeting students who shared his conservative political philosophy. "The idea came to me after I worked with the Arlington, VA.-based Leadership Institute to start conservative clubs at colleges in the Buffalo region of New York State. I, along with the other club members, felt that we could successfully start a conservative movement on the campus in a constructive, educational manner."
The Conservatives Club was founded this past fall. Officers include Stephen Lyon, president; Zackary April, vice president; David Green, treasurer; and George Barr, secretary. Other members include Mike Laporte, Evan Perry, Joseph Serino, Kyle Puzacke. Political Science Professor Christopher Vasillopulos serves as the club's advisor.