By Denton Josey, Student Reporter
Two of the candidates running for the 71st House District seat in the Texas House of Representatives are looking to ACU students for support.
Republican candidate Kevin Christian, class of 2000, said voters from the university will be influential in the election.
“By motivating the student body at ACU, the students can affect the outcome of the election,” Christian said.
Dr. Mel Hailey, chair of the Political Science Department, is the only Democratic representative running in the election. While he said he hopes to have support from voters at the university, Hailey said he is hesitant to use his position at the university as a platform.
“I’d love to have every student on the ACU campus helping me, but I can’t get up and ask for that in my classes because that would be inappropriate,” Hailey said.
Christian, who is a sponsor for Gamma Sigma Phi, has been in the Campus Center, contacted the social clubs at ACU and addressed Student Congress about the election. He has also passed out bumper stickers, T-shirts, signs and even created a group on facebook.com.
Both candidates have traveled around Taylor and Nolan counties, meeting constituents and door-knocking.
“There’s no audience too small for me to visit,” Hailey said.
Being a professor in the midst of campaigning, Hailey said he tries to make clear that he is not using the classroom for campaigning. Though some students have volunteered to help him, he does not solicit help in class. He said students did not sign up for his classes to have the pressure to campaign for him.
“I’m trying to maintain a critical distance between what is appropriate with my colleagues and what falls into the area of what I find inappropriate,” Hailey said.
Since the campus is private property, candidates need permission to display campaign paraphernalia. Neither candidate has requested permission to campaign on campus, though Christian did have permission to be in the Campus Center.
Another part of campaigning is e-mail, a medium that is easy to use and that has far-reaching capabilities, but Hailey said he does not want to be intrusive.
“I have not used the ACU e-mail to blanket e-mail ACU,” Hailey said. “I’m not going to spam my friends.”
Whatever outlets the candidates use, the student vote is not one they are discounting.
“I think it is important to involve students,” Christian said. “I want to encourage students to register to vote regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat.”