ECU political leaders hold public candidate forum

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In Greenville a group of democratic and progressive groups held a candidate forum Thursday.

The purpose of this forum is to inform the public especially ECU students about the power they hold in the local elections coming up.

However it was the lack of participation that concerns organizers.

“Most students basically you know they live here 9 months out of the year so they aren’t residents of the city of Greenville what they don’t recognize  is the fact that the decision that are made at the local level are decision that really impact  them the most directly,” said organizer of the event Zachary Pate.

Pate says he wants to open student’s eyes to the power they hold in local elections.”I want them to understand there are two sides of the political spectrum that are being represented in the candidates that are running for mayor city council and at large Greenville.”

But a nearly empty room for discussion was discouraging for Pate.

“It’s a little bit disappointing but it’s not going to deter us. The decision that are made at a local level are the decisions that really impact them the most directly so they should be involved and know what’s going on,” he added.

Mayoral candidate Calvin Mercer, District 3 candidate Uriah Ward, and US House candidate Jenny Marshall were among those who spoke.

Senior Julie Ested says the low participation was upsetting but she still learned a lot.

“I didn’t know much about any of these city council members so it was really cool to get their background information and to get you know what they were specifically focused on,” said Ested.

Like Pate, discouragement won’t last long with Julie. She said now that she has learned she wants to help network with others to spread the word.

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