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Oak Leaves

May 11, 2018

pat-hackett-us-congress-2018-rita-koehler (1)

Democratic Congressional Candidate Pat Hackett

Photo provided

mel hall

Democratic Congressional Candidate Mel Hall

Photo provided 

yatish joshi


Democratic Congressional Candidate Yatish Joshi 

Photo provided 


College Democrats Welcomes Primary Candidates to Campus 


Virginia Rendler 


The Manchester University student organization College Democrats welcomed three congressional candidates to campus this past week. Wabash County is within the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, and these three democratic candidates are vying for the representative position currently held by Republican Jackie Walorski. Walorski has been the representative for the 2nd district since 2013.

Yatish Joshi presented on the evening of April 18, in the Shepherd Room of the Jo Young Switzer Center. Students and faculty were invited to listen to the candidates present on their platform and background, and ask any questions they may have. Candidates also had the opportunity to mingle with students during meals in Haist Commons, accompanied by some campaign staff. Joshi, founder of GTA Containers in South Bend, focuses his platform on economy, health care, inclusivity and community building. Zander Willoughby, senior political science major, said that Joshi was a compelling candidate. “I think it's great that Mr. Joshi practices what he teaches,” Willoughby said. “He focuses on providing good jobs to people, especially giving second chances to people with criminal records.”

Mel Hall visited campus on April 25. Hall comes from a farming family, and has spent time as a minister and CEO of Press Ganey, focusing on patient satisfaction in health care. He spent seven years as a minister in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, a time which he recalls as his greatest education. “That’s when I became a relentless pragmatist,” Hall said. Hall’s campaign centers on the economy, health care, public education, social security and net neutrality. Hall said that he intends to run a data driven campaign, and avoid any ad hominem attacks on the incumbent.

Hall believes that as a candidate for public office, he has the responsibility to make the world a better place. “Everyone that I've met at Manchester, from students to faculty to staff to those on campus tours, shared that same sense of responsibility and commitment to making our communities better,” Hall said. “I'm inspired by the leadership of students like those at Manchester, and I know that our future generations are in good hands."

The third and final candidate to visit Manchester was Pat Hackett. Hackett met with students on April 26, and is a Detroit native. She is a small business owner, current adjunct assistant professor in the Notre Dame Law School, former adjunct faculty at St. Mary’s College, and former teacher at Marian High School. Hackett is “dedicated to the development of the community through education.” Her campaign centers on gun legislation, health care, education, racial and gender justice, labor and LGBTQ rights.

The Democratic Party primary election takes place on May 8, 2018, in Indiana's 2nd District. This election determines which Democrat will earn the right to run in the district's November 6, 2018, general election. Douglas Carpenter, Roland Leech and John Petroff are also democratic candidates. Tate Wooding, student body president, stresses the importance of participation in the primaries. “[Primaries] are extremely important to the election process,” Wooding said. “Unfortunately, people usually ignore the primaries. There are not usually a lot of policy differences between the candidates so it is important to meet and get to know the candidates and learn the differences.”