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Evers and Baldwin hold rally in Beloit

The morning before a generally successful round of midterm elections for Wisconsin Democrats, a number of Democratic candidates for the state, including newly re-elected Senator Tammy Baldwin and Governor-elect Tony Evers, visited the Beloit College campus for a brief campaign rally. Evers was brought to campus by the college’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance club, and his visit was publicized beforehand, but a number of students remarked that they were surprised by the presence of Senator Baldwin and other candidates.

Evers and Baldwin were joined by Dr. Brittany Keyes, who was running for Wisconsin’s 31st Assembly District; State Representative Mark Spreitzer, who graduated from Beloit College in 2009 and was running for re-election; Sarah Godlewski, who was running to be the Wisconsin State Treasurer; and United States Representative Mark Pocan, who was also running for re-election. Democratic Rock County Sheriff candidate Troy Knudson was in the audience.

Beloit community members appeared to slightly outnumber the college students who were in attendance. Noting that the election was just a day away, the candidates focused on getting out to vote, urging the audience to bring friends and family who might not otherwise vote to the polls on Tuesday. Keyes, Spreitzer, Godlewski and Pocan also spoke about gun control reform, funding for public schools, and refinancing student loan debt in the state of Wisconsin.

Baldwin focused on her position on health care reform, telling the audience about her own experience spending the majority of her youth without health insurance after three months in the hospital as a child with a condition similar to spinal meningitis. She also relayed the stories of several Wisconsin residents who had suffered financially because of health complications. In Wisconsin, Baldwin established a law that prevented insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions, and in the U.S. Senate, she authored the amendment to the Affordable Care Act that allows people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 years old.

“We are blessed in the state of Wisconsin to have Tammy Baldwin as a senator,” Tony Evers said after Baldwin introduced him. Evers went on to denounce the policies of his opponent, the incumbent Governor Scott Walker, and to promise to “bring back science to the state of Wisconsin.”

Brittany Keyes called Evers and Lieutenant Governor-elect Mandela Barnes “Wisconsin’s dream team.”

All of the candidates remained on campus after the rally to speak to students, community members, and the media.

Spreitzer, Godlewski, Pocan and Knudson’s campaigns were successful on Tuesday, Nov. 6 along with those of Evers and Baldwin. Wisconsin Democrats also won the state house.

The college issued a disclaimer in its publicity for the event, which only mentioned Evers: “Beloit College does not endorse any political organization, political philosophy or candidate for public office […] Recognized student organizations that are not student governance organizations may endorse political candidates or organizations if the endorsement also contains a clear disclaimer that the endorsement is that of the student organization and in no way constitutes an endorsement by the Beloit College.”

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