By James Ratcliff/@JamesR5767
At the Student Government Association’s Mayoral Forum on April 1, the audience, while limited in their role during the forum itself, had plenty to say about the candidates and different issues.
John Benavidez, social sciences senior, said before the forum began that he wanted to hear what the candidates had to say about improving the city.
“I’ve come here to hear which of the candidates will focus on improving downtown,” Benavidez said.
John Hays, A&M-San Antonio alumni, said after the forum’s conclusion that he was glad to see so many people in the audience.
“This forum was great for the students of Texas A&M-San Antonio since it will hopefully get them involved in the voting process,” Hays said.
However, not all in attendance got to hear what they believed was important to them.
Political science senior Faith Braverman was disappointed that none of the candidates brought up the issue of legalizing medicinal marijuana.
“It’s sad that people have to go out of state to get the care they need,” she said.
Student views on strongest candidates
Opinions differed as to which candidates the audience felt was a strong choice.
Benavidez said he was unsure who he was going to vote for.
Hays said he was impressed with how candidate Mike Villarreal was focused on improving education.
“It opened my eyes to their ideas,” said Rose Gonzales, Palo Alto College student and prospective transfer student. “It kind of narrowed down my choices, because there are so many candidates.”
“I’m leaning towards Rhett Smith, the Libertarian candidate since I’m for allowing parties besides the Democratic and Republican parties into the field,” Braverman said.
Wyatt Matson, a sophomore at Fresno State and the son of A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson, said after the forum, “Since I’m from out of state, this was a new experience for me. That said, I feel that the current San Antonio mayor, Ivy Taylor, was the most professional of the bunch. She clearly has some experience under her belt.”
The forum was streamed by NowCastSA. The archive of that stream can be viewed at NowCastSA’s YouTube channel.
Staff reporter Kendra Wilkerson contributed to this report.