With the presidential elections a little over a year away and the primaries even closer, presidential candidates and their campaign teams will begin to roll through Keene State.
Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Marianne Williamson is set to visit Keene State for the second time on Oct. 2, according to Kimberly SchmidlGagne, the accreditation and assessment officer.
The Equinox reported in April that Williamson visited Keene State on April 16, which marked her as the first candidate to stop at the school for the 2024 election. Other candidates’ campaign are beginning to visit the school as well.
Schmidl-Gagne said teams from the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Vivek Ramaswamy campaigns will have tables on campus alternating Wednesdays for a few weeks.
RFK Jr., a Democrat, had campaign staff begin tabling the Student Center this past Wednesday, Sept. 13. Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican, will have his campaign visit the school on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
As for other candidates and campaign teams, Schimdl-Gagne said she is not entirely sure who will come through the doors. Because of polling, candidates have to adjust the schedule as the data comes in, which can make it hard to predict. She also noted that no candidate has reached out to host visits yet Williamson. However, she said she has reached out to the campaign teams for presidential hopefuls to visit the college. Typically, the candidates’ campaign team will reach out as well.
In a Sept. 16 AP article, it was reported that Republican Canidates have been shifting their focus to states like Iowa rather than New Hampshire. Chris Christie said in an interview with AP, “There’s a lot of people competing in Iowa hard and not as many people competing hard in New Hampshire,” Christie said.
Candidates tend to visit the college because the students at Keene State vote, Schimdl-Gagne said. There also is not a place in Keene with a large enough capacity to host visits from presidential candidates. However, Keene High
School has hosted presidential candidates in the past. According to an article from The Equinox in Oct. 2015, Donald Trump visited the school’s gym. On the same day, political activist Angela Davis visited the Mabel Brown Room.
Another reason why presidential candidates are invited to Keene State is because it allows students to interact with those who are running and have them engage in the election process.
“It’s kind of exciting to get to talk to them [presidential candidates] early,” SchmidlGagne said.
Because of smaller crowds, students can sometimes get “one-on-one face time” with the candidates and have a chance to ask their own questions, she added.
Tim Bruns can be contacted at