More than 100 students, faculty and Lubbock residents attended a debate between District 19 congressional candidates Jodey Arrington and Glen Robertson Monday night at the McKenzie Merket Alumni Center to learn about each candidate’s platform.
Robertson said the debate highlighted the differences between the candidates, even though both engaged in snide remarks about each other.
“I think it went good,” Robertson said. “I wish we would get past the childish bickering and get back to talking just about issues.”
But, Arrington said, their policy stances are actually quite similar. The differences between the two are mainly in their backgrounds. Arrington worked in Washington, D.C. with former President George W. Bush. and Robertson is the current mayor of Lubbock.
“There isn’t a lot of policy difference between the two candidates,” Arrington said. “There just really isn’t. We’re both very conservative, so philosophically, ideologically, you’re not going to see a lot of difference between the mayor and myself.”
Arrington appreciated the opportunity to talk about issues important to students.
“We keep talking about fighting for the future of the country, and we have in here representation of the future of our country,” Arrington said.
Both candidates were impressed with the turnout. Robertson was especially pleased to see so many students just before the start of finals.
For the last 20 or so minutes, the moderator, KFYO’s Chad Hasty, took questions from the audience, which focused on diverse topics, from the cotton market to corporate income taxes.
Robertson said he enjoyed the audience engagement because the inquiries were not the typically asked cookie-cutter questions.
During closing statements, Arrington stressed Lubbock is his home and he loves the people, their values and their way of life.
Robertson, on the other hand, closed by stressing that the election is about a bigger picture.
“I think it’s time for us to remember that this isn’t about Jodey or me,” Robertson said. “This is about our district, this is about our country, this is about going back to the Constitution.”
Amber Yanez, former Student Government Association internal vice president, and Megan McMillan, president of Tech College Republicans, planned the event. Because the goal was to inform the Texas Tech community, Yanez said she would like to remind students to go out and vote.
“Specifically to Tech students, it’s not only a right to vote but it’s also a responsibility,” Yanez said. “So I encourage you all on May 24, regardless of who you’re supporting, to get out there and vote.”