Students Meet Political Candidates

Rarely do high school students have the opportunity to meet politicians and ask them questions, as Hotchkiss students recently had the opportunity to do. On Tuesday, October 9, students and faculty visited Noble Horizons to listen to Maria Horn and Jahana Hayes discuss their respective campaigns for the upcoming midterm elections and about the importance of voting.

Noble Horizons, a retirement home in Salisbury, hosted Hayes and Horn for a discussion about their campaigns and beliefs. Hayes is running for the 5th Congressional District seat, and Horn is a candidate for Connecticut State Representative. All Hotchkiss students were eligible to sign up for the trip, although spots were limited by transportation and space constraints. Alongside students, members of the local community attended the event to learn more about the candidates.

If elected, Hayes would be Connecticut’s first black Democrat in Congress. Hayes is the former National Teacher of the Year and is running against Manny Santos, the Republic nominee. Santos and Hayes have very different views on a variety of issues, including environmental regulations, gay marriage, gun control, and President Trump. Hayes grew up in Waterbury where she lived in public housing. She then became the first person in her family to attend college. Hayes does not have extensive experience in politics, however, her decisive victory in the primaries demonstrates her public appeal.

Horn, Salisbury resident and mother of Max Quinn ’19, Abby Quinn ’17, and Maude Quinn ’15, was previously a federal prosecutor. Horn’s campaign focuses on health care initiatives, long-term investments in Connecticut, education, and economic growth. In the general election, Horn was endorsed by former President Barack Obama. She is running against Republican Brian Ohler, the current representative of the 64th District of Connecticut.

During the event, the two candidates discussed their agendas and answered questions from the audience. Katie Moore ’20 said, “I liked both the energy the candidates brought to the discussion and their enthusiasm [for] answer[ing] questions on the national and local levels. It was exciting to see Jahana Hayes in person, because she is such a big name in the teaching and now political world.”