Florida politicians visit FAU Boca campus, encourage students to vote

The three candidates are currently running in the November midterm.


(From left to right) Boca campus governor Luke Turner, Florida Senator Bobby Powell, County Commissioner Candidate Robert Weinroth, Student Government relations director Jacqueline LaBayne, and State Representative candidate Mike Caruso visited the Grand Palm Room and spoke to almost 50 students on why they should vote in the midterm. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline LaBayne

Caroline Bell, Contributing Writer

With the Nov. 6 midterm election coming up, several Palm Beach County candidates running for office stopped by the Boca campus to discuss the importance of voting.

State Representative candidate Mike Caruso, County Commissioner candidate Robert Weinroth, and Florida Senator Bobby Powell spoke to around 50 students Sept. 13 to urge them to vote in the midterm.


A representative for NextGen America, Alexa Michaela Johnson, said young voters can effect change if they show up to the polls in November. The nonprofit organization encourages and registers young adults to vote across the U.S.  


“Young people from age 18 to 35 are the largest voting bloc in the U.S. We are the largest group able to make a change,” she said.


Weinroth said he expects many young adults to vote in the wake of the Parkland tragedy.


“People feel that it’s not important that they vote because what’s one or two votes? But the last city council election in Boca Raton really came down to one or two votes,” he said.


Larry Faerman, FAU assistant vice president of Student Affairs, spoke about an on-campus voting location that will be open to students at the end of October. Students can list their dorm address when registering to vote.


Student Government, which organized the event, handed out free T-shirts stamped with a QR code. If students scanned the code with their smartphone, they would be taken to a website where they could register to vote.


Caruso said, “I’m really excited about young people getting involved in the political system … and be a part of the excitement of Florida politics.”


He went on to detail his campaign issues, including affordable education, economic growth, and stronger immigration laws.


Powell took the floor to speak about his campaign for reelection to the state Senate. He discussed gun control and expanding Medicaid as two major parts of his campaign. He added that he served as a spokesman for Florida governor hopeful Andrew Gillum.


“We need Gillum for governor because his background is working class and he knows what it’s like to get in the trenches with the rest of the people,” Powell said.


Empty seats far outnumbered attendees in the Grand Palm Room, sophomore Vanessa Garcia said. The political science major worked on Boca Mayor Scott Singer’s campaign, which she said encouraged her to register to vote.


“It’s important for students to come to these even though it’s not the most fun,” she said.

Caroline Bell is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].