By Curtis Cobert and Chelse Greaux
RICHMOND, Va–The gubernatorial election is fast approaching, but you wouldn’t know it on the state’s college campuses.
“I don’t even really know their names…I know DEEDS…right?” John Wassal said, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Democrat Creigh Deeds is running against Republican Bob McDonnell. Both candidates say they’ve visited numerous universities throughout Virginia, but that hasn’t appeared to increase student interest. Some faculty and students believe the candidates are to blame.
“I think with student interest I don’t think either of the candidates are particularly focused on energizing student populations,” says VCU political science instructor Chris Saladino.
“I mean it’s just the matter of putting the word out there if you generated more interest locally if you created more of an awareness that was similar to that of the presidential elections than we would be interested,” says Tala Makhdoom a VCU Sophomore.
Although interest in the race is low some students are still are trying to generate more interest around campus. Michael Philips is a VCU Young Democrats member and volunteer for the Deeds campaign. He hopes his efforts will encourage more students to interested in the election.
“Obviously the presidential race gets far more coverage than the gubernatorial election but we’re just trying to get students involved trying to raise awareness,” Philips said.
Others, like VCU College Republican’s member Mohammad Samkari, say that Virginia’s next governor will have a bigger impact on students than the president.
“It’s not about whose in the White House. It’s not about whose representing Virginia on Capitol Hill. It’s about whose representing Virginia in Virginia,” Samkari said.