With the midterm elections happening on Tuesday Nov. 6, Keene State College was abuzz this week with discussion surrounding voting and politics. Democratic Candidate for the Governor of New Hampshire Molly Kelly visited campus on Monday Nov. 5 to speak with KSC students. She delivered a speech encouraging students to get out and vote the next day and spoke about her positions on various topics.
As a KSC graduate, Kelly is familiar with the college. She lived on campus as a single mother with three children and managed the family housing (now the closed Bushnell apartments). During her speech, she expressed gratitude to the college and hope for all current students.
“I came to Keene State as a young single mom. I waitressed one night a week, we had a rural paper route on Saturday mornings. I was willing to do whatever it takes so I could provide for my family and to have opportunities for myself. How exciting is it that you get to do all the things you want to do and open doors for yourself here at Keene State. It’s a wonderful college and it changed my life,” Kelly said.
Kelly went on to discuss how her college experience had inspired her current stance on public education. She wants to continue to fund public education and work towards making college affordable for everyone. Adversely, she expressed how her opponent, current New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu, is not in favor of funding public education and wants to move money to private and religious schools through a voucher program.
“If we erode public education, we will be eroding democracy,” Kelly said.
Kelly also discussed how she will repeal voter suppression laws that are specifically targeted towards preventing college students from voting. This is an issue of concern as earlier this year Sununu signed House Bill 1264 which requires any voter in New Hampshire to be a resident of the state at the exclusion of any other residency, according to New Hampshire General Court.
Other issues Kelly covered included her intent to continue to provide safe and legal abortions in the state of New Hampshire, despite talks of overturning Roe v Wade at the federal level, and that she plans to make New Hampshire a more environmentally friendly state. She said she will move New Hampshire from fossil fuels to renewable energy to ensure cleaner air, water, energy and to provide good jobs in the state.
To her opponent, Kelly sent a warning that she is not a force to be diminished.
“I’d say to Chris Sununu: don’t underestimate me. I was underestimated when I was a single mom here at Keene State. People said you can’t do that; be a single mom, raise three children and get your education. But guess what? I did. I ran for the State Senate. I ran against a Republican leader. People said you can’t do that. I did.”
Before giving attendees a chance for one-on-one meet-and-greets, her last remarks were ones of support and confidence in this election.
“You’re going to get up. You’re going to vote. You’re going to get all your friends to vote and you’re going to have the loudest voice there is in this state and together we are going to move forward and I can’t wait for it to happen.”
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at