By Henry Fisher | November 7, 2022
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
With the midterm elections tomorrow, each of UAlbany’s political clubs were asked for their final commentary concerning the issues on this year’s ballot. This did not just include those representing the major political parties – the University at Albany College Republicans and the University at Albany College Democrats – but also those representing secondary groups and voting activism.
The Democrats focused on encouraging students to vote, and did not highlight any specific issues.
The University Democrats said that they “hope that every student, faculty, and staff member that is eligible to vote is an active member of their community and practices their right to vote. Everyone should be contributing to the democratic process and electing the officials that will hopefully ultimately advocate and bring positive changes to their communities.”
The UAlbany Young Democratic Socialists of America were reached out to for commentary, but did not respond.
The Republicans offered in-depth information on their endorsements and hopes for the election. This election is especially prevalent to the University Republicans due to Representative Lee Zeldin being a former President of the club during his time at UAlbany.
Members of the University at Albany College Republicans and Representative Lee Zeldin at a rally.
Photo Credit: University at Albany College Republicans
“I can say that we proudly endorse Lee Zeldin for Governor. Rep. Zeldin is UAlbany Alumni and was formerly the President of College Republicans. It brings great pride to our current members to see one of our own running for New York's highest office and makes us feel that despite being outnumbered in New York, we can still make a difference,” Vice President of the College Republicans, Kevin Waltz said.
The College Republicans have denounced incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul for her treatment of gun owners, specifically of portraying law-abiding gun owners as dangers to the public and the signing of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act.
“We hope to see a red wave this midterm. We feel as though democratic leadership on the national level has been a failure, and that democratic members of Congress have enabled the Biden administration to destroy the American economy through reckless spending,” Waltz said. “We hope to see a Republican house and senate that will act as a check on Joe Biden's agenda. We also hope for more Republicans in the state legislature so that we can repeal bail reform, which has been a total disaster.”
Waltz also took the opportunity to include his own personal experience, saying “I think that as a result of New York being essentially a one-party state, it has become extremely corrupt. I am a resident of Albany and have lived here all my life. Growing up, I had many friends whose parents worked for the state. Many of them were politically conservative but had to be registered as democrats. This is because there was an unspoken rule: if you were not a registered democrat, your job would be the first to go.”
Turning Point USA at UAlbany did not offer any endorsements due to the nature of their organization not allowing such a move. They did, however, discuss their values and what they hope to see in the future.
The club’s President, Avery Middendorf, said that while unable to make endorsements, “there are many candidates that line up with our core values. These values include gun rights, free speech, medical freedom, backing the police, fighting crime, lowering taxes, less government overreach, and promoting freedom. The individuals that support those values include Lee Zeldin, Joe Pinion, Michael Henry, Rich Amedure, Marcus Molinaro, and Liz Joy to name a few.”
Kevin Waltz, also acting as Turning Point USA’s Vice President, said that “no matter the results of the election, we hope that the principles of limited government and free markets prevail on both the state and national level.”
Both Generation Vote and Democracy Matters made sure to emphasize the importance of voting, but both also pointed out specific issues. They also stressed the importance of this particular election.
“This election, we sincerely hope that every registered UAlbany student can make the time to go out and vote, participating in our democracy is more important than ever. This year's ballot includes important issues for everyone living in the US; there are propositions relating to pollution in NYS, as well as national politicians running for election,” Generation Vote said.
Democracy Matters’s President, Anjalee Modasra, reflected the points of Generation Vote, but discussed the important matters on this year’s ballot, saying “So much is at stake in this year’s midterm election. It will decide whether Congress protects your rights by fighting climate change, gun violence, voter suppression, the assaults on women’s reproductive health, and democracy itself. But not only that. It will impact nothing less than who runs for President in 2024!”
Modasra asserted the importance of the younger generation’s vote, “As young people, we voted in record numbers in both the 2018 and 2020 elections, so we encourage you all to go out and break those records yet again. We have the ability to change the path that we are currently on in regard to so many of these life-changing issues. It may feel like we don’t, but the only way we can is by doing what we do best. Being loud, speaking out, standing up for what is right, and protecting our right to shape and live in an America we are proud to share.”