Students Engaged in the Political Season

November 9, 2011

With one election down and another just getting started, politics is in the air at Mary Baldwin.

Laura Kleiner

Despite a loss to incumbent Del. Richard P. “Dickie” Bell on Tuesday, 2011 Mary Baldwin graduate and political newcomer Laura Kleiner made a respectable impression with voters in the 20th District, earning 18 percent of the vote in the race for the General Assembly seat.

The political science graduate announced her bid for office in May, citing her experience working with the local Democratic Party and a desire to bring change to the area. At the time, she said her college experience gave her the confidence to run for public office.

“Mary Baldwin shaped me into the leader that I am today,” Kleiner said. “In our Women in Politics class, it was extremely evident that women can lead and that we need more women leaders.”

Also this week, students in the College Democrats club announced that they will host a public forum on November 16 with Andy Schmookler, a Shenandoah County author who hopes to become the Democratic nominee in 2012 to challenge 10-term incumbent Bob Goodlatte for Virginia’s 6th District in Congress.

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According to Teyanda Payne ’12, chairwoman of the student group, Schmookler will address the audience and take questions during the event titled, “Let Me Tell You What’s Gone Wrong in American Politics (and How it Can Be Set Right).”

“The Mary Baldwin Democrats are happy to host this event. We are confident that he is the compassionate changemaker that the state of Virginia needs, and we are excited to support him,” Payne said.

College Republicans at Mary Baldwin are also helping to plan and organize the event, Payne said, ensuring that “all sides of the aisle are represented.”

The Democratic club invites the public to this free event, which begins at 7 p.m. November 16 in Francis Auditorium.