Mock Presidential Debate features scandals, policies and personalities

Brigid Garrett and Julianne Sackett

To end the long week of mock election campaigning, CHS held the mock debate on Friday, Oct. 21, in the cafeteria for the whole school to watch. Students represented each of the the five candidates. Senior Matt Miller of Wall acted as Hillary Clinton, junior Jonathan Slovak of Spring Lake Heights as Donald Trump, junior Matt Avena of Middletown as Darrell Castle, freshman Sawyer Barth of West Long Branch as Gary Johnson and junior Zoe McDonnell of Middletown as Jill Stein.

The debate took place at 1:30 p.m. with the two afternoon periods shortened to a 50 minutes to accommodate the debate. To kickoff the debate, seniors and moderators Julia Pardee of Freehold and Sarah Lynch of Interlaken introduced themselves, explained the debate rules and announced the chairs of the Election Bureau and Common Cause, junior Julia Dwight of Atlantic Highlands and senior Annie Ruoff of Monmouth Beach, respectively.

The candidates then took the stage, where they were asked a series of questions and given one minute to respond. Clinton was the first to be asked the starting question about the price of college tuition. Some other question topics during the debate included the environment, same-sex marriage, the wage gap, abortion, crime, education and the Second Amendment.

Sophomore Greer Shanley of Fair Haven changed her opinion of the candidates after the debate.

“I think that everyone did a really good job; I learned more than I previously knew about the candidates and I think I will be voting for someone that I never thought I would,” Shanley said.

Trump, impersonated by Slovak, even maintained the trademark Trump voice and speech style throughout the debate. He got a large reaction from the audience with phrases such as, “My favorite book is the Bible” and “I pay everyone equally, I am the most generous person.”

Slovak felt the debate delivered what the audience was hoping for.

“I think the debate went well, the audience really seemed to like it. All the candidates were so good and spoke really well.It was huge,” Slovak said.

Elections will be held next Tuesday for all CHS students to cast their ballots.