The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU Democrats host town-hall forum

The SMU Democrats hosted a town hall forum Tuesday evening in McCord Auditorium for U.S. Congress candidates Will Pryor and Dan Dodd.

Both Pryor and Dodd spoke, covering such topics as national security, education, the war on terrorism and many others.

The forum was opened by James Longhofer, the president of the SMU Democrats. He gave a brief introduction and then introduced Julie Clements and Jamie Wooldridge, both of who are working with the Pryor campaign.

Clements gave an introduction for Pryor. She said Pryor is currently running for the Texas 32nd Congressional District, and he served as a district judge in Dallas 20 years ago. She then welcomed Pryor to take the floor.

Pryor said the most frequently asked question of all candidates is, “Why are you running?”

He said, “I am running because I feel like our nation is being polarized – I think I can help.”

He also said this was not his only reason. He mentioned that his father, cousin and grandfather have all served in elected positions.

“Each of us is called to serve in different ways,” he said. “In my family this is how you respond to that call.”

Pryor said his priority in this campaign is to win the war on terror. He said he feels more and more discouraged about what we are doing over there, and we need to end the war in Iraq. He also said that, at the moment, we need to support our troops who are in Iraq fighting for us, look forward and “make the best of a bad situation.”

He then opened the floor to questions. Longhofer asked Pryor how he proposed to make college more available to everyone. Pryor said he wants to ensure that higher education is accessible to every American. At the moment, he said there are between six and eight federal loan programs aside from FAFSA, and he thinks that should be simplified. He said he wants to condense these multiple programs down to one and make a flat tuition tax credit available to everyone.

Pryor then turned the floor over to Dan Dodd, who is running for the Texas Third Congressional District. Dodd opened by saying he feels as if administration has gotten on the wrong path.

“I don’t think they know they are lost. I don’t think they have a map,” he said.

He then went on to speak about such topics as Medicare, social security and senior citizens. He said he wants a “one payer health care insurance for everybody, not government paid doctors.”

He also spoke about education, and said he wants to give everyone an equal opportunity for education. He said once the students finish school, they will give it back to the community, not only through taxes but also through innovation, patents and small businesses.

Dodd does not share the same view as Pryor when in comes to national security. While Pryor said he wants to end the war and bring our people home, Dodd said he wants to go back to Afghanistan and “finish what we started.”

The forum was closed by Pryor, who said volunteers are needed for the campaigns, and even if they only have a couple hours here and there, they are greatly appreciated.

“Money does not win elections, hard work wins them,” he said.

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