Democrats descend on CMU
Stabenow, candidates offer views on student debt, voting
Sen. Debbie Stabenow's name will not be grace the November midterm election ballot, but she's still stumping on the campaign trail, throwing her weight behind 4th district Congressional candidate Jeff Holmes.
“We have the chance to elect somebody who will make you proud, not just hold a seat,” Stabenow said in her address to students, faculty, staff and Mount Pleasant residents in Central Michigan University's Bovee University Center on Monday.
Transitioning from a family physician to a politician, Holmes aims to be the latest Democrat to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives – a position long-held by U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, who will retire at the end of this year. His running platform emphasizes the importance of “high quality education and economic revitalization."
Holmes took a moment to speak on behalf of his campaign, particularly on college education and student loan debt. He, alongside Stabenow, honed in on the idea of making student loans re-financeable.
“The idea that you can go through a bankruptcy agreement but not get rid of your student loans is ridiculous,” Holmes said. “Especially when your student loan is probably what sent you into debt in the first place.”
His point was emphasized by an example Stabenow used earlier in the presentation, where she described meeting individuals eligible for Medicare who were paying off loan debts.
“Democrats have brought (the issue of student loans) up, when Republicans basically filibuster it every time. Whenever its students versus banks, guess whose side (Republicans) are on?” Stabenow said. “There is more student loan debt today than credit card debt.”
Much of the meet and greet also stressed the importance of students getting out and voting, especially for issues that could affect them directly. The importances of absentee voting – if voting in person is not possible for the student – as well as other options were discussed at large through the duration of the presentation.
Fred Sprague, a CMU alumni running to represent 33rd district, was especially persistent on communicating that the student voice of Mount Pleasant did matter.
“You folks, believe it or not, as students make a difference,” Sprague said. “If (Democrats) vote, (Democrats) win.”
Sam McNealey, president of College Democrats, said the appearances of Stabenow, Sprague and Holmes achieved the their goal.
“We want to show CMU’s campus how important it is to vote and that the candidates really do care,” he said. “We also want to show (candidates) that students do care as well.”
Students present said they were impressed with the topics covered and the candidates’ plans of action. Detroit senior Demetrius McCloud said the candidates were "genuine." He added that he appreciated the ability to get to listen to them.
“I think it is amazing for them to show up and just to show that they care about us college students,” he said. “I’m excited to see what happens this November.”
Elections take place Nov. 4. For information on precincts and where individuals can cast their ballots, visit http://mt-pleasant.org/ .