Tim Kubick / For the Lantern
With Election Day less than a week away, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s daughter visited Ohio State students to emphasize the importance of voting and the contrast between candidates.
“We’re making a lot of big decisions in this election for the future … and students are going to live that future,” said Liz Brown, deputy executive director of the Ohio Democratic Party.
Rising college tuition and student loan rates are two issues she believes will have an impact in this election.
“How you’re going to be on your feet once you graduate is a real present-day concern, but it’s also about what kind of country are you going to graduate into, what kind of state?” Liz Brown said.
Her father is running for re-election against Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Josh Mandel. Liz Brown spoke as a component of the Undergraduate Student Government speaker series on Oct. 31, which also hosted Mandel a week ago.
Taylor Stepp, Undergraduate Student Government president, said Sherrod Brown was invited to speak but was unable to attend.
“It’s quite striking that the senator is so scared of speaking to students that he sends his daughter instead,” said Niraj Antani, communications director for College Republicans.
The Columbus Dispatch announced its endorsement of Sherrod Brown for Senate Tuesday, joining The Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I do think it (the endorsement) speaks to the fact that the contrast is so clear in this race,” Liz Brown said in an interview with The Lantern. “We’re at a real crossroads in this country.”
Despite support from three major Ohio newspapers, Antani does not think the announcement will affect Mandel’s campaign.
“I don’t know anyone who makes a vote off of a newspaper endorsement,” Antani said. “Sherrod Brown has been in office for 30 years and Josh (Mandel) is a young guy, a fresh face, and that’s what the country and Ohio needs.”
When Sherrod Brown spoke at the Oct. 9 rally on the Oval before President Barack Obama, he told students, “If you live in Ohio you get to decide who the next president of the United States is.”
And Ohio’s prominence as a swing-state has students realizing the importance of their vote.
Jacquelyn Daugherty, a third-year in chemical engineering, plans to vote at the Ohio Union polling station on Nov. 6.
“Voting this year actually, truly counts,” Daugherty said. “It’s going to determine huge decisions about our futures.”
Though Daugherty has already made the decision to vote, she urges undecided students to get informed.
“It doesn’t matter which party you’re for, the candidates put in a lot of time and effort to run and five minutes of your time to get informed and can benefit the country,” Daugherty said.
Stepp said the purpose of the speaker series is to make sure students are best prepared to cast their ballot next week.
“Anyone we can get (to speak) that can effectively educate voters is beneficial,” Stepp said.
Antani said he doesn’t believe Liz Brown’s visit will make an impact on students’ voting decision.
“No independent or swing-voter cares about what the deputy executive director has to say,” Antani said.
Drew Calabro, government relations deputy director for USG, said Liz Brown provides a new perspective for students because “she is not a political talking head, she’s not running for election, her father is.”
Liz Brown said she was happy to get the chance to talk to OSU students.
“It was only six years ago that I would have been sitting in that room at my college,” Liz Brown said. “I do think that students have a lot at stake in this election, and I was happy to come in and talk about what that is.”