POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – One of Marist College’s own faculty members has pulled off a stunning local political upset.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Dr. Lynn Eckert defeated Peter Loughran in the Democratic primary election to represent the Ulser County Legislature’s 5th District. Eckert, who is an associate professor of political science at Marist, defeated the 23-year incumbent by accumulating nearly 75 percent of the vote.
After years and years of campaigns, debates, and nasty Facebook posts shared between relatives, November 8th, our national election day, is finally here. And for many Marist students who have never voted in an election before, the feelings on taking their first steps in civic engagement are certainly…mixed.
Based on data found on Fairvote.org, 60 percent of the US population voted in the previous Presidential election. But among younger voters in the age range of 18 to 29, the voter turnout has certainly been lacking. For the past 40 years of Presidential elections, this age group has turned out to the polls on Election Day at a rate 15 to 20 points lower than citizens 30 years and older, with no sign of this trend being curbed in a positive manner.
For most politically minded college students at Marist College, the presidential race may appear to be the most pressing upcoming election, but amid all the Hillary-Benghazi-hearing and Trump-on-SNL media coverage, they might have missed an even more consequential political race.
Local elections for key offices in the Dutchess County and Poughkeepsie governments took place on Nov. 3, ending months of hectic, door-to-door campaigning for hundreds of candidates throughout the county. In one of the most hotly contested races, Marc Molinaro, the incumbent republican county executive, won re-election with more than 63 percent of the vote, beating out Democratic challenger Diane Jablonski.
Republican Rob Rolison was elected mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, defeating Democrat Randy Johnson by more than 1000 votes. Seats on the seven-member Poughkeepsie Town Board, the eight-member Common Council of Poughkeepsie and the 25-member county legislative body were also up for grabs, among other positions.
These officials indubitably affect the lives of the thousands of constituents within their districts, but often overlooked is the relationship between these officials and local college students. Continue reading