Politicians visit GV tailgate before midterm election

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Republican Senate Nominee Terry Lynn Land

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Republican Senate Nominee Terry Lynn Land

Drew Howard

Grand Valley State University was host to both Congressman Bill Huizenga and Michigan’s Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land this past Saturday night.

The two politicians attended GVSU’s Homecoming tailgate in hopes to reach out to both students and potential voters in order to answer questions about the upcoming midterm election in November.

Land is currently campaigning for a position in the U.S. Senate opposing Gary Peters while Huizenga is seeking re-election in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“My son went to Grand Valley and I really love it here,” Land said. “I’ve been here many times since I’m actually from this side of the state. Coming to this tailgate seemed like a great opportunity to meet some voters and talk to the students about the upcoming election.”

Land attended Hope College in Holland, Mich. and was one of the youngest attendees at the 1978 republican state convention.

Land said that it’s important for all students to take an active interest in politics as soon as possible.

“When I was Secretary of State I actually brought the mobile office to all of Michigan to get people registered to vote,” Land said. “I think it’s very important for young people to pay attention to politics. It’s about our future, the direction of our country and it’s going to affect you once you graduate.”

An example of students who are currently taking an active interest in politics is GVSU’s student group, College Republicans.

The College Republicans is an organization of students aimed toward maintaining conservative values such as well as low government spending and fiscal responsibility. The students involved took part in Land and Huizenga’s tailgate as they worked alongside the politicians in greeting interested voters.

GVSU sophomore Sarah Cauzillo is the director of membership retention of the College Republicans. She agrees with Land that it’s important for younger people to become aware of what is happening politics right now.

“Eighteen to twenty-four (year-olds) comprises the least amount of people that come out to vote, but it’s also the most important age group,” Cauzillo said. “Many people think that this stuff doesn’t affect us but it actually does. We are the next generation to take hold of office. If we ignored all that, it would be a recipe for disaster. If you want certain things to happen in the country you have to become involved. We want to affect positive change. It’s about to be our world and it’s important that we become aware of what is happening.”

The race between Land and her opponent Peters was named one of the top 10 elections to watch by the Washington Post. Because of this, it’s vital that everyone voice their opinion as the election in November is anticipated to be a close one.

“It’s a very close race and we knew it would be that way,” Land said. “Right now, as you know, Gary Peters and the democrats control the Senate. There are 12 seats in play across the country and about six or seven of them have a good chance of being republican. If this becomes a reality then that would change the majority in the Senate and republicans would be in control.”

Land added, “I think that there are a lot of great students here that will be able to serve their country in both local and national offices. I want to make sure I encourage anyone interested in politics to pursue that.”

Elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4 in various voting locations.

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