by Azka Khan
With the gubernatorial elections only months away, Illinois residents will be electing the governor of Illinois on November 4th. The four candidates and their running mates are doing what they can to earn the trust and the vote of Illinois residents. The Benedictine College Republicans hosted State Treasurer and candidate for governor, Dan Rutherford (R) from Pontiac, Illinois on Monday, February 3rd at Cocomero’s in Woodridge.
The newly founded College of Republicans invited Rutherford to engage in personal discussion and understand the life of a politician, especially a candidate for governor. With a classy suit and a bright smile, Rutherford did not let his busy schedule hinder with his ability to have a friendly discussion with Benedictine students, as well as students from North Central. The intimate setting allowed an open discussion to discuss Rutherford’s plan on improving Illinois and dealing with current day issues, such as gun control and pension.
With this event, there is a push from the College Republicans and the College Democrats to increase political awareness through their events.
“The Rutherford event [allowed]…the community to get closer to the political process,” said Andrew Rainville, Vice President of the College Republicans. “This allows us to interact with a public servant first hand.”
Political awareness is seen with Rutherford pushing to engage the younger generations of Illinois because many issues concern them as well. In doing so, he utilizes various mediums of social media to give attention to all sorts of age groups and get them involved. He especially stressed the rising cost of student loans as negating education. Thus, he asserted that when he was a student at Illinois State University, he would pay off his tuition by working full time, yet he acknowledged this is not possible for students in today’s economy and wants to change that.
Given Rutherford identifies with a specific political mindset, he has a certain charm that engages all political ideologies. With a purpose to change the image of the typical Republican voter, Rutherford is focused on making minorities a priority. With Steve Kim, who is of Asian descent as a running mate, Rutherford has pushed to ally with various communities, such as the Punjabi Alliance and the Polish society, to name a few.
With a governor debate coming up at Benedictine, students are excited to have a close look at how politics work in Illinois.
“Candidates are able to make a better impression on the community before the debate where they may not have time for individuals,” stated College Republicans President Derek Murphy. “College Republicans are able to show they are willing to provide students with meet and greets so that students can be more politically informed on the race.”