Final days before U.S. Ohio Senate Primary Republican Forum

By Kendall Westgate,

On Feb. 19 starting at 8 p.m., the University of Findlay will host the U.S. Ohio Senate Primary Republican Forum produced by Spectrum News 1.

The candidates involved in the forum include Matt Dolan, Frank LaRose and Bernie Moreno. Dolan represents District 24 in the Ohio State Senate, in which he began his term in January 2017. LaRose has been part of the Ohio Secretary of State since January 2019 with his current term ending in January 2027. Moreno considers himself a conservative outsider and an entrepreneur.

“I am really looking forward to hearing from Matt Dolan, Frank LaRose and Bernie Moreno and seeing them answer questions from the UF student body,” UF student Megan Hite said. “I think my generation focuses on a lot of different problems than older generations, so I am excited to hear the speakers answer questions on topics that people my age feel are big issues.”

Forum tickets are distributed as follows: each campaign received 50 tickets, the Ohio Republican party received 50 tickets, UF received 50 tickets. The estimated number of guests for the forum is 250. The forum will take place in Winebrenner Auditorium. UF professor Amy Rogan, who helped put this event together, shared how students can get involved in the event.

“Students who might want to see if there are a few tickets left can contact me. We do have a few vacancies left,” Rogan said over email. “Otherwise they definitely can watch on Spectrum News 1 on Spectrum cable, or on the Spectrum News app. I believe they’ll replay the forum at some point as well.”

To prepare for the event, several UF departments met with Spectrum News 1 last month when they made a site visit. Departments helping with the forum include ITS, marketing, facilities, security, CAHSS Dean Dr. Tully, chair of the communication department Dr. Kit Medjesky and Pulse TV manager Jayson Geiser.

Hite discussed one question she would like to ask the candidates involved in the forum.

“Being a huge advocate for pediatric cancer awareness and funding, I have worked with an organization that has been trying to get a bill created to make The Ohio Childhood Cancer Acceleration Fund, which would create funding of $15 million every two years for Ohio entities to do research, specifically for childhood cancer research,” Hite said. “This has been a vigorous battle to get this bill in place. My question I would like to ask would be, what is Ohio doing to help protect and create fair and equal treatment for kids battling cancer? From 2000-2019, childhood cancer has increased 35 percent in Ohio and there are still no new treatments for pediatric cancer. I would really like to hear their views and opinions on whether this is a big issue for them since kids will be our future politicians, lawyers, doctors, etc.”

Since Hite is a pre-law and history major with a minor in political science, this forum interested her greatly. She believes this will help widen her knowledge of current politics, as well as understand the people currently representing Ohio.

“I find politics to be super interesting. I like to refer to it as a rabbit hole, once you fall into the world of politics it is hard to climb out,” Hite said. “Being a person whose future is going to revolve around law and the legal system, it is important for me to stay up to date with politics.”

 Rogan shared how this is a great opportunity for UF, since this is the first time The University will host an event of this nature.

“I think this is a great moment for The University of Findlay and the City of Findlay to host this type of forum. This is such an important political race,” Rogan said. “Now more than ever, we need to be able to critically analyze the position of political candidates and engage in civil discourse. We need to get back to talking about the issues and getting things done. Unfortunately, politics has become a competition when it’s supposed to be a process. I hope this forum format fosters civil discussion. All in all, I think it’s a great opportunity to get the campus community to critically think about these very important issues in politics that affect our everyday lives.”