Elizabeth Warren is the presidential candidate that emerged victorious at this year’s Mock Convention at Westminster College. The nominated vice president was Dr. Shannon Smithey, a political science professor at Westminster College.
The four candidates at the 2019 Democratic Mock Convention at Westminster College were Joe Biden represented by Jackson Gastmeyer, Bernie Sanders represented by Seth Zacherl, Kamala Harris represented by Emily Gellatly and Elizabeth Warren represented by Brian Whetzel.
These students acted as campaign managers leading up to the convention and during the event itself. Their role as campaign managers meant debating and giving speeches to try and convince the delegates in attendance, or the students participating, to vote for their candidate.
Retired Westminster Coach Scott “Scooter” Renninger also gave a speech after the four main candidates. Renninger tried to nominate Rocky Balboa as a Democratic Presidential Candidate, but his nomination was shot down. Candidates must be real people, over the age of 35 and have political experience.
“I’m glad the delegates made the right choice tonight,” Whetzel said after receiving the nomination for president as Elizabeth Warren.
“[I’m] a little embarrassed. It was really nice of people to do that. I am an elected official. I’m on my school board; I just won re-election. I guess I’ll have to resign in order to move into Blair House,” Smithey joked after receiving her nomination for Vice President.
Westminster students currently in London for the study-abroad trip also got to cast their votes.
Over 600 students registered for the Mock Convention this year, but only about 255 students were in attendance Thursday evening. Students role-played as delegates from eight regions of the United States: Deep South, Great Lakes, Great Plains, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, Mountain West, Northeast and Pacific West. Eight students acted as Region Chairs to collect the votes for their specific regions.
The Region Chair for the Deep South was Evan Vent, while the Region Chair for the Great Lakes was Peter Mattocks. Ryan Vercammen was the Region Chair for The Great Plains, Natalie Sperlunto was the Region Chair for the Mid-Atlantic, George Huncik was the Region Chair for the Mid-South, Shelby Woods was the Region Chair for the Mountain West,
Maggie Manolis was the Region Chair for the Northeast and Megan McCarthy was the Region Chair for the Pacific West.
Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, was the kickoff for the Mock Convention. The highlight of the evening was the keynote speaker, Martin O’ Malley. O’Malley is the former governor of Maryland and one of the democratic candidates for the presidential election in 2016. Students had the chance to ask O’Malley questions after his speech.
The second day of the Mock Convention took place in Memorial Fieldhouse throughout the afternoon. Delegates debated issues such as women’s reproductive rights, health care, prison reformation and student debt. Voting for presidential and vice-presidential candidates started at 7 pm.
The real Democratic National Convention will be July 13, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconson. The next Mock Convention at Westminster College will be in 2023.
You can watch, fast forward, and rewind through the entire two-hours of WCN's mock convention coverage.