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Five Drake Law students ask questions during CNN Democratic Town Hall

January 26, 2016
Martin O'Malley answers a question from Jenna Bishop, 2L, during the Democratic Town Hall at Drake on Jan. 25. 

On Jan. 25, Drake University hosted a Democratic presidential candidate town hall in Sheslow Auditorium, which was broadcast live on CNN.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, and Sen. Bernie Sanders all participated in the event to answer questions from the audience and make a final pitch to voters before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 1.

During the town hall, five Drake Law School students had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions.

Jenna Bishop, a Drake Law second-year student, posed the following question to O’Malley: “I’m 23 years old, and I care about a lot of issues other than just the cost of college. So I’d like to know what issue you think should be most important to young voters and why.”

Benjamin Folladori, 3L, asks Martin O'Malley a question during the Democratic Town Hall. 

Deborah Plummer, a first-year Drake Law student, asked O’Malley, “Do you have any specific plans to grow the economy at a rate that will increase job growth so that those who are long-term unemployed or fallen out of the work force will have an opportunity to get back in?”

Benjamin Folladori, a Drake Law third-year student, also addressed O’Malley: “You’re aware that national polls continue to show you trailing Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. So to those that are still undecided, like me, or maybe just less informed about politics – on top of what you’ve already talked about, what’s the last thing that you would try to tell them to convince them that you are the best candidate for the Democratic Party?”

When Sanders took the stage, Sean Callison, a Drake Law third-year student, asked, “I think you’ve introduced a lot of programs that can help a lot of people. My question is, realistically, how do we fund those programs? Where can we reallocate or cut spending on other programs?”

Maria Diaz, 2L, asks Hillary Clinton a question at the Democratic Town Hall. 

Finally, Maria Diaz, a second-year Drake Law student, asked Clinton the following question: “When you are elected the next president of the United States, what will you say to Republican voters?”

This was the third time this campaign cycle that the Democratic candidates visited Drake’s campus.

Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders met on the Sheslow stage in November for a live, nationally televised presidential debate sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee and hosted by CBS News, The Des Moines Register, and KCCI. The candidates also participated in the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum at Drake two weeks ago that was broadcast by Fusion network.

In addition, on Jan. 22 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson sat down for a live interview at Drake’s Olmsted Center in the #AllVotesMatter Presidential Video Series presented by BET Digital and Vote America Now.

“Drake University has strengthened its reputation this election cycle as the best venue in Iowa, and perhaps the nation, for political engagement and civil discussion,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “Our position as capital of the Iowa caucuses has generated countless professional experiences for students and helped prepare them to be engaged global citizens."