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Delta Program hosts State College mayoral race debate

An election debate in State College was hosted by a group of people not yet old enough to vote themselves.

STATE COLLEGE – An election debate in State College was hosted by a group of people not yet old enough to vote themselves.

Students from the State College Area School District' s Delta Program got a chance to ask local candidates about their stances on a variety of issues.

The students at the Delta Program had a great opportunity today to talk one on one with candidates for mayor in their hometown. They asked questions on the issues they felt are most important in the community.

The students worked together to generate questions for the candidates.

"I think it's awesome. It's an opportunity that not a lot of people would get, especially at my age. And it's such a small school, I think it's amazing they wanted to come here," senior student Alexandra Terrizzi said.

All three candidates -- Michael Black, Don Hahn and Ron Madrid -- were present. The audience included all of Delta program's middle and high school students. The students asked all the candidates the same questions and gave each of them one minute each to answer. Though most of the students aren't old enough to vote, they all still had a say in the concerns they want to address.

"We still felt like having the mayoral candidates come debate the issues would be a good opportunity for them to hear about what the local issues are and start to understand how government plays a role in their everyday lives," teacher and event organizer, Lynda Hauman said.

Students came up with the 10 best questions to ask after everyone in the school submitted their ideas.

After the event, some students spoke with the candidates one on one.

The candidates were impressed with the questions that the students asked.

"I love that they can really think critically about issues that are happening in their local community and so I think sometimes they can blow us away and we don't expect or realize it," Hauman said.

Students from two social studies classes planned the 45-minute event. The students said that, although they can't vote right now, voting is something they're looking forward to. Election day is two weeks from tomorrow, only 15 days away.

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