Candidate shares platform, gets opinions from students

Sarah Matthews

Portage County Commissioner candidate Mike Kerrigan told the Political Science club Monday, Sept. 14, that he is interested in hearing the opinions and needs of more college students.

“Everybody who’s anybody who has given me advice basically said ‘don’t worry about Kent State’,” Kerrigan said. “Don’t spend your time worrying about those kids or trying to ask them to vote because they don’t show up.”

Kerrigan, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for commissioner, sees things differently.

“I’m here to listen, and I want to know more about what’s on your guys’ mind and how, if elected, to best represent all of you,” he said.

Kerrigan, who recently graduated from Kent State with his Master’s in public administration, hopes to begin a new wave of younger candidates in Portage County politics.

“If you look in county government, those of you that are from Portage county, we just elected currently our youngest commissioner and she just turned 63, so it’s really not representative of everybody that lives in the county,” Kerrigan said.

Although Kerrigan is running as a Democrat he said he is interested in hearing all opinions.

“I am a Democrat, but at the local level ‘D’ or ‘R’ doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s really just about helping everybody and not just picking pockets of people that help.”

Kerrigan’s message was well received by some members of the audience.

“In terms of the fact that he’s really trying to engage the campus community here and trying to engage students by getting them involved in politics I think that’s very noble. And not just noble, it’s the correct thing to do,” junior political science and history major Andrew Ohl said.

Ohl, who serves as the Political Director for the Kent State College Democrats, admired Kerrigan’s efforts.

“I think candidates and officials coming to us and getting us engaged is a great way to get people our age more involved,” he said. “I’m excited to see that he wants students to take part in our community and take part in our affairs.”

Samantha Matthews is a reporter for the Kent Stater.