Mayoral Forum in McClay
The theater was standing-room-only September 26th for the mayoral debate between candidates Mayor George Endicott and Ed Fitch.
The candidates faced off in the McClay Center for Performing Arts, discussing platform issues like homelessness, jobs, South Highway 97, and the Redmond Museum. The forum served as an opportunity for students and community members to get a look at the issues that shape local politics and better understand the platforms the candidates are running on.
“I was very happy that it happened because I’m turning 18 before the election,” said RPA senior Timothy Williams. “I'll be able to vote, so I was really looking for a chance to figure out who’s running. I got to hear a lot of stuff like the things they want to focus on like expanding the Redmond campus of COCC, improving the housing market and bringing in more jobs. I thought that was very interesting.”
Students were able to pose questions to the candidates after each candidate gave an opening statement. Mayor Endicott discussed his previous term as mayor, highlighting his accomplishments throughout his term, including appointing students as Ex-Officios on various committees and commissions, and his work in Urban Renewal Districts. Fitch countered, describing how he would tackle Redmond’s homelessness, the expansion of COCC, and the South Highway 97 development if elected to office.
After the debate, attendees were polled about which of the candidates they would vote for and which candidate they believed won the debate. Of the 137 student respondents, 51% thought Fitch won the debate with the other 49% favoring Endicott. In the voting for mayor, 53% of the students voted for Fitch, while 47% voted for Endicott.
“I would vote for Ed Fitch,” said Williams. “I liked his focus on business. Mr. Endicott, from what I got was more focused on housing and improvements there and Mr. fitch was more in the business area renovating business. I think over there the rent is getting very hard for new businesses coming in to keep their establishments running downtown. He wanted to lower the cost to bring in more business”
The election will be held on November 6. Both candidates will continue to participate in forums across the city aiming to advocate their respective platforms to the public before they cast their ballots.