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Democratic candidates meet with Penn State students ahead of November election

Takac Davis Democrats event at Penn State.jpg
Casey Zanowic
/
WPSU
Democratic candidates Paul Takac and Austin Davis met with students and community members on Penn State's Old Main lawn on Aug. 28, 2022.

Paul Takac and Austin Davis held a brunch event on Penn State’s Old Main lawn Sunday to talk about all things Pennsylvania and Penn State. The candidates mingled with students and residents hoping to learn more about what issues they’re concerned about and how to win their support.

Takac is the Democratic candidate for the 82nd district in the Pennsylvania House. It is newly created by redistricting and includes the northern part of Centre County and the eastern half of the State College area, including Houserville, Lemont, Boalsburg and the Penn State University Park campus.

Takac said it was important for him to come to Penn State to mobilize students and get them more integrated into the political process.

“I think, in the past, the university community and the student population has not really been made to feel a part of the political process here in the area,” Takac said. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring some folks out, talk to students and others and just find out what’s on their mind, what are the big issues that are facing them today.”

Democrat Austin Davis is running for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania. He said he wanted to help motivate students to get out and vote for him and his ticket mate Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor.

“I want them to realize that we’re in a critical moment here in Pennsylvania, and this election is not just gonna decide the direction of our commonwealth for the next four years, it’s gonna decide the direction for the next forty years, and that is their future. So, I’m here to ask them to get off the sidelines, get in the game and help us win this election,” Davis said.

Many students attended the event to share the issues they believe are important.

Coleman Henner is a second-year student studying aerospace engineering. He said one of the major concerns he wants the candidates to address is the issue of abortion.

“I’m concerned about the abortion issue, and that could become an issue in Pennsylvania if we get a Republican governor. And having representatives in the legislature who will block certain initiatives, I think is important,” Henner said.

Republican candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, has said he would ban abortions even in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the pregnant person. Shapiro has said he would veto abortion restrictions if elected.

Takac said throughout the brunch, he talked to students about a wide variety of issues.

“Young people today are so attuned to what is happening in the world. I’ve had conversations with folks who, just a few minutes ago, were talking about healthcare policy and economics, or talking about, you know, the political situation and how it ties back into equity. Those are really important ideas and students have a really vibrant voice,” Takac said.

Takac’s campaign team will hold more events throughout the State College area in the coming weeks before election day on Nov. 8. The team will also return to Penn State to talk more to students during celebrations such as Homecoming and LION Bash.

Casey Zanowic is a WPSU radio news intern for fall 2022.