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Alpha Phi Alpha Holds Forum for Maryland Gubernatorial Candidates

By Taylor Barfield

Spectrum Staff Writer

Bowie State University’s Eta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity hosted gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) and lieutenant governor candidate Ken Ulman (D) during a candiadtes’ forum Sept. 9 in the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Delegate Alonso T. Washington attended the forum and Mark Tillman, General President of Alpha Phi Alpha, sent a video message to the audience.

The forum, called “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” began with student motivational speakers, Eugene Craig, Rajah Hilliard and Richard Lucas III.

The speakers encouraged students to vote by delivering speeches about the “Power of the Vote, The Power of the People, and the Power of Hope.” Then the candidates took the podium to explain the power that voting has within the state of Maryland.

“In Maryland, we’ve had the largest mass exodus of taxpayers,” Hogan said, explaining to the audience that 31,000 Marylanders have left the state.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t care who you are,” Hogan said. “Black or white, young or old, Democrat or Republican this economic performance should simply be unacceptable to all Marylanders.”

Ulman spoke on behalf of his running mate and incumbent Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D), who did not attend the forum due to a scheduling conflict.

“I was thrilled when [Brown] asked me to join his team,” Ulman said. “We share a vision and that vision is that every Marylander in every corner of Maryland has an opportunity at a world-class education and every single Marylander has an opportunity at a great family-supporting job.”

Ulman also told the audience that he and Brown are making strides to provide pre-kindergarten to Marylanders to ensure that every student has a shot at world-class education.

After the speeches, the men of Alpha Phil Alpha Fraternity presented Hogan and Ulman with a Bowie State University shirt to commemorate the occasion.

Those who attended the forum said they learned more about the candidates’ missions.

“It was really insightful to hear the views and vision of the state of Maryland from both parties,” said Sarina Hall, a sophomore at Bowie State University