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Saint Mary’s student runs for local office

| Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Inspired by the many women running for office across the nation, Saint Mary’s junior Leticia Torres decided she wanted to run for office in her native Marshall County in the 2018 midterm elections. On Tuesday, when Marshall County voters head to the polls, her name will be on the ballot.

“You know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York? She’s awesome,” she said. “The day after she won the election, Michelle Livinghouse, who’s running for state representative, texted me that I was the next Alexandria Ocasio[-Cortez] and that I should run for office because it’s a really good place to start. She told me to start locally.”

Torres is running to be a member of the Center Township Advisory Board.

Torres said she is able to balance canvassing for office and attending her classes at Saint Mary’s due to a donation made by someone in the South Bend community.

“I got a really good donation from someone in South Bend, and you can use that money to canvas by paying someone to canvas for you or buying yard signs,” she said. “I’m using all the donation money for canvassing.”

Torres said her decision to run for office happened quickly. Torres said she has been “canvassing, going to events and making a ton of signs” while she has also balanced the workload that accompanies being a full-time business major.

Torres thinks it is important for students and young people to get involved in politics because they are the future leaders of the country.

“If we’re not involved then the older [generations] will be running things and choosing everything for us,” she said. “We have to decide our own destiny.”

While Torres said she is more of a moderate, she said she feels most strongly about immigration issues.

“I feel strongly about immigration because it’s such a huge deal right now,” she said. “It doesn’t have too much to do with local office, but, I figure if I start small I can do something about it in the future.”

Torres said other students running for office should start by helping local politicians, as that is how she first became interested in politics.

“Network — that’s how I got involved with all this,” she said. “I volunteered for other people running for office, I’ve done a lot of canvassing for local elections and gained a lot of experience doing that. If I wouldn’t have done that, I wouldn’t have cared about politics as much. Once you experience politics first hand, it makes it easier and more fun to get involved.”

Torres said the most important thing students can do is fulfill their civic duty and exercise their right to vote.

“Please vote,” she said. “You don’t have to vote for me, just vote.”

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a senior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She's the co-editor of the Investigative Unit, a Saint Mary's social media liaison, and she occasionally writes for SMC News and Scene. Gina is a tried and true Midwesterner and yes, she does say "ope" often.

Contact Gina