Fourth Congressional District candidate Betsy Markey, D-Fort Collins, visited the Lory Student Center Plaza Monday to take the last hours before Election Day to personally shake the hands of the student voters that will filter into voting booths today.
“I’ve been up on the stage before, so this time I just wanted to walk around and be more personal,” she said.
Markey is running against incumbent Republican Marilyn Musgrave in the intensely competitive race for the 4th Congressional District Seat in Colorado, which has reached over $4 million in combined campaign spending.
By her side was campaign manager Ben Marter, who said that as the stress of the election approaches its climax, he is ready for it all to be over.
“We’re ahead in all the polls I’ve seen,” he said. “But we are still anxious until tomorrow night.”
According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Markey for Congress campaign has spent $1.96 million in an attempt to unseat the Republican Party, which has had control of the 4th District for more than three decades.
Musgrave’s campaign has returned fire with $2.21 million in spending, according to FEC filings.
“Who knows what the voters will say,” Markey said when asked if she feels she will win. “But I feel real good about it.”
The majority of Plaza-passing students Monday had already voted and dodged Markey in the same manner in which they avoided the clipboard jockeys working to “get out the vote.”
But some students called out to her as they walked passed and said “Hi Betsy,” or “Already voted for you, Betsy.”
Of those who did take time to stop and speak with Markey, most said they were swayed by the personal appearance.
“I like that she’s out here,” said Dan Hanavan, a junior studying construction management. “I wasn’t expecting to be able to shake her hand. I’ve never really shaken a politician’s hand.”
Hanavan said that he still hasn’t voted but will most likely vote for Markey today.
Dan Dugan, a second year graduate student studying health physics, said that he bumped into Markey at The Bagel Place before seeing her outside and did not recognize her.
“It’s funny; I voted for her earlier, and I didn’t even know who she was or what her policies are,” he said.
Dugan asked Markey what she stands for after telling her that the number one reason he voted for her was that he simply didn’t want to see Musgrave in office.
“I know that’s not the best reason to vote,” he said. “So I wanted to make sure what I was voting for.”
Dugan, who found reason to be pleased with his vote when Markey discussed her plans to create tax write-offs for parents putting kids through college, wasn’t the only one who wasn’t familiar with Markey, but not all of the students that spoke with her were so willing to just give her their vote without knowing why they should.
Martin Maxwell, a sophomore studying psychology, said that while he is a Democrat, he would not give up a vote simply because the candidate is of the same party.
“That’s a pretty stupid reason to vote,” he said. “I don’t think that defines how (the candidate) will be in office.”
Maxwell said that he was looking to vote for someone he felt would be sensible in office.
“Why should I vote for you?” he asked Markey.
She talked about her experience working with Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., her opponent’s voting history, and her own energy plans.
Maxwell said he liked her and, like many CSU students, he will be voting Markey.
Elections Beat Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at email@example.com.