The College was a small but vocal part of Saturday’s Jefferson-Jackson Fundraising Dinner, an annual rally for Virginia Democrats held in Richmond that hosted presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
p. About 30 Democrats from the College attended the event, which was held at the Stuart C. Siegel Center on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
p. The College’s chapter of the Young Democrats was also in attendance.
p. Both Clinton and Obama, who are vying for Virginia delegates in today’s primary, spoke at the event. Former Virginia governors L. Douglas Wilder and Mark Warner, and current governor Timothy Kaine attended the event as well.
p. “I think tonight was a really great experience,” Sarah Rojas ’10 said. “I’m really glad that so many William and Mary students turned out. Although there was division among the Democratic Party, all of us William and Mary students [were] all hanging out and that was great.”
p. Rojas and six other College Democrats drove from Williamsburg in support of Clinton. They said that they liked Clinton’s speech but were disappointed by the divisions they saw between Democrats.
p. “I was disappointed in the tone that the event ended up taking because I felt like this was a night for Virginians to come together and celebrate being Democrats,” Danielle Garrett ’08 said. “I thought it ended up being a very divided event.”
p. Although both candidates spoke at the event, Obama gave the final speech, and received the majority of supporters and an enthusiastic introduction from Kaine.
p. Both candidates also addressed the rising cost of tuition for the nation’s college students, recommending grant relief and incentive programs for public service.
p. The evening was seen as a generally positive event. “What really amazed me was the huge crowds of college students who had arranged rallies in support of their candidates,” said Liz Pedraja ’09, president of the College’s Young Democrats. “It showed that this is an election young people are really emotionally invested in and that they are ready for a change.”
p. Obama is expected to win today’s primary. Voting booths in Williamsburg for those eligible open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Building on North Boundary Street.