Saint Leo University Hosts Mock Presidential Election

With 409 votes cast, the fictional Republican ticket of Friedman/Castillo defeated Howard/Johnson in the Saint Leo University mock presidential debate held at University Campus on Monday, November 7.  Electronic voting immediately followed a spirited debate between the faux presidential contenders, Libertarian-leaning Paul Raymond Friedman, played by Saint Leo student Mark Saunders, and Democrat Marcus Howard, brought to life by student Leandrous Chieves.

The voting breakdown favored the Republicans 58 percent to 42 percent. During the tallying, the race was often close and at times it seemed possible the votes could be evenly split. University President William J. Lennox Jr., who observed the debate, helped announce the winners and congratulated all the candidates.

The audience in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardroom was often loud, cheering for their favored candidates, even though they were asked multiple times by the student debate moderators to quell their outpourings of enthusiasm. Moderators put questions to the candidates, and the opponents were given time to rebut each other’s answers. Topics included taxes, the national debt, employment, K-12 education, financing higher education, immigration, veterans’ issues, and national security and foreign affairs.

The vice presidential candidates debated each other October 3. Student Amanda Miceli played Caterina Castillo, the Republican vice presidential nominee. Sophie Metellus played Angela Johnson, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.     

After the tally was announced Monday, the candidates and their campaign teams—also comprised of students—stayed to talk and mingle with each other and Dr. Lennox. Students filled other critical roles in the proceedings, as well, including video and news media coverage.

The mock election, “The Presidency,” was one of two Alternate Reality Learning Experience (ARLE) activities conducted at Saint Leo University this fall. 

Photo: Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University