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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Annual AP U.S. Government debate sparks interest with new changes

THURS. | 10-29-20 | NEWS

SAT. | 10-10-20 | NEWS

     Every year, Elizabeth Knight’s AP Government and Politics class participates in a mock election to elect a United States Senator for North Carolina. With all the COVID-19 precautions, the election almost did not happen, but Knight decided to continue the tradition with adaptations to accommodate rules set in place due to the virus.

     On Friday, Oct. 30, at 3pm in the lecture hall, Knight’s AP Government will host its debate with the four candidates: seniors Davis Harz, Zach Rogers, Eyad Thaher and junior Travon Smith. With this year being an election year for the United States, students get to see how Presidential elections work while preparing for their mock Senate elections to better learn how politics work.

     The student voters for the election are Clay Medlin’s Paideia Civics classes. There are also eight teacher voters whose votes are weighted as five student votes. Each party is allowed to spend no more than $75 on campaigning. Candidates can also get endorsements to

show that people around the Rose and the community support what they stand for. These 


Graphics combined by Emma Hastings

 endorsements range from teachers at Rose to Board of Education members to actual politicians.

     There are three different committees for each party: the image and public relations committee, advertising and social media committee and the strategies and negative campaign committee. Each of these committees have leaders that are in control and together all committee leaders, the candidate and the campaign manager make up the steering committee. Each party varies from around nine to seventeen members. For the actual debate, each party is allowed to bring only five people into the room with the remaining members having to Zoom in. Each candidate only gets one member from his party at the front of the lecture hall to help them. This one person will have social distance from the candidate too, so it will be hard for them to share information without the other candidates hearing.

     Harz is the candidate for the KEY party, which matches the party’s slogan, “opening doors for North Carolinians.” The three main planks for the KEY party are education, equality, diversity and economy. 

     “We focus a lot on education because we want to focus on special careers for the youth,” Harz said. “With our economic plan, we hope to promote pro-growth taxes so that small business growth can go back to pre-COVID position.

     Zach Rogers is the candidate for the SPICE party, which stands for “Southerners Promoting Independence in Carolina’s Excellence.” The SPICE party focuses mostly on having a limited government which includes a free market economy and a laissez faire economic system.

     “We want the government to be more removed from politics, and we want to have that power transmitted back into the states and towards the people themselves,” Rogers said.

     Travon Smith is the candidate for the Sway party whose slogan is “Vote for Trey, it’s the sensible way.” The Sway party has three main issues: health and science, veteran’s affairs and education

     “We are very job-oriented and we want to create as many jobs as we can for the citizens,” Smith said. “It is especially important to provide jobs during this time, since COVID-19 has taken them away from so many people.”

     Eyad Thaher is the candidate for NOCAP party which stands for National Opportunity and Constitutional American Preservation. The NOCAP party believes in strictly enforcing the Constitution in order to protect the citizens’ and states’ rights against the federal government. They will focus on lowering taxes for local businesses so that they can provide jobs. Another key topic that they discuss is immigration. 

     “The American dream is one of the most important parts of our society and it is important that everyone have access to it,” Thaher said. “[Our plan] will fully enable the American dream for anyone, but it will also lessen the tax burden for many Americans.”

     Since adaptations to COVID-19 restrictions, this years’ AP Government and Politics’ election for US Senator will be different, but Knight is making it seem as normal as possible. Each party still gets to debate, persuade voters and get endorsements. The debate will take place on Friday, Oct. 30 at 3pm in the lecture hall, and Medlin’s Paideia Civics classes will get to exercise their “civic” duty and vote to choose this year's winner next Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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