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AP Gov. Mock Election Recap

The+2018+AP+Gov.+Mock+Election+Candidates+%28left+to+right%29%3A+Conor+McCusker%2C+Kevin+Kafayi%2C+and+Ashli+Jain.+Photos+courtesy+of+the+candidates.+
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AP Gov. Mock Election Recap

The 2018 AP Gov. Mock Election Candidates (left to right): Conor McCusker, Kevin Kafayi, and Ashli Jain. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

The 2018 AP Gov. Mock Election Candidates (left to right): Conor McCusker, Kevin Kafayi, and Ashli Jain. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

The 2018 AP Gov. Mock Election Candidates (left to right): Conor McCusker, Kevin Kafayi, and Ashli Jain. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

The 2018 AP Gov. Mock Election Candidates (left to right): Conor McCusker, Kevin Kafayi, and Ashli Jain. Photos courtesy of the candidates.

Ryan Young, Staff Writer

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The AP Government and Politics Mock Election debate took place on Monday, Dec. 3rd during lunch. The election was between conservative candidate Conor McCusker, liberal candidate Kevin Kafayi and independent candidate Ashli Jain. Throughout the weeks prior, candidates promoted their causes with flyers, speeches, wristbands and more.

The candidates first presented the audience with the ads for their campaigns. Liberal immigration lobbyist and senior Samy Castaneda then showed an attack ad directed at McCusker. Conservative immigration lobbyist and senior Casey Kline presented an attack speech at Kafayi shortly thereafter. The three candidates then debated pressing issues the country is facing including birthright citizenship, international terrorism and economic policy.

Jain’s campaign message was to stand “to protect those who are unable to protect themselves.” As an independent candidate, she took different sides of various issues and presented her opinions such as the need for a privatized economy and a presence in countries in need. Jain called the political system broken, as one of her main campaign messages was to put an end to the political division that is breaking apart the country. One of the selling points in Kafayi’s campaign was to create bold solutions that face the problems of our generation. He highlighted the diminishing middle class as Americans are working longer hours for lesser pay. Taking a constitutionalist approach, Kafayi was strongly for birthright citizenship and was also for single payer healthcare. Conservative candidate McCusker stood for increased border security and the promotion of safe and legal immigration. He wants to fight both domestic and international terrorism by maintaining a democracy in the Middle East with a U.S. presence.

The candidates were then asked a series of questions from the audience, some of which included Supreme Court nominations, healthcare policy and more. At the end of the debate, the students and teachers who attended voted for the candidate who they thought best represented their own beliefs and who succeeded in stating their points eloquently and respectfully. The total votes cast was 203, a high number compared to previous years, according to AP Government and Politics teacher Dan Devitt. The candidate who received the most votes, and thus won the mock election, was Kafayi with 81 votes. Jain followed closely with 70 votes, and McCusker received 52 votes.

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