Kent Students Attend Debate for CT Representatives

Baljaa Borgil

On October 11, the Social Justice Club hosted a trip to a local debate held at the Housatonic Valley High School. The debate was between candidates running for the State House in Connecticut’s 64th District (Maria Horn (D) and Brian Ohler (R)) and State Senate in Connecticut’s 30th District (David Lawson (D) and Craig Miner (R)). The debate itself was cosponsored by The League of Women Voters of Litchfield County and The Lakeville Journal.

The debate started half an hour later than expected because of some technical difficulties, as a larger than expected turnout caused the debate to relocate to a larger auditorium.

The debate was moderated by Pat Donovan, a longtime member of The League of Women Voters. She asked each of the four candidates to give their opening remarks, followed by questions from The Lakeville Journal, Housatonic Valley High School students, and audience members.

“It was interesting to see the different views each candidate had on different subjects from gun control to bears in Connecticut” reflects Sally Yu ’20. The journalist from The Lakeville Journal, asked, “How could we minimize or control the bear population in the Northwest corner of Connecticut?” which resulted in lots of laughs from the audience.

While Lawson stated that the bear population was not a problem and gave a personal anecdote of a bear relaxing in his backyard, Miner argued that there should be strict hunting seasons on bears placed to reduce their population.

In response to Miner, Horn stated that “we need to control waste management in towns” so that these bears will not be accustomed to “rummaging through our trash for food.” Ohler agreed with his opponent and relied on evidence from biologists in the area to support the proposition that a better waste management system is needed.

Aay-Janae Taylor ’21 says that “it was a very interesting experience, unlike any of the presidential elections I’ve seen on TV. The candidates actually were respectful and let each other speak.”

“I especially liked the perspective and views of Maria Horn,” says Anna Jang ’22. “Her views on creating a digital infrastructure in Connecticut and gun violence especially resonated with me. It was really exciting to be at a live political debate and to learn the structure of a political debate.”

After the debate, the students who attended made a quick stop at McDonald’s, which pleased their hungry stomachs after the two-hour debate.