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OWU Mock Convention Features Hobson, Blackwell, Tiberi, Watts

February 8, 2000

DELAWARE, OHIO -- The Republican Mock Convention will convene at Ohio Wesleyan University Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12, continuing a tradition that dates back 80 years.

Since 1920, Ohio Wesleyan students have organized a convention for the party that is currently out of the White House. Traditionally, the Mock Convention emphasizes the convention-like atmosphere, featuring demonstrations, songs, cowbells, feet stamping, hats posters -- and lively interaction between student politicians and state delegations.

"I want to participate in the Mock Convention because it will be good practical experience, and because the convention happens only every four years," says Carrie Wilkie, a junior at OWU majoring in politics and government.

Wilke, who is the convention's state chair representing Hawaii, plans to go on to law school after graduating from Ohio Wesleyan. Senior Michael Cassone is heading up the Ohio delegation. The politics and government/English major who also plans to attend law school, likes the forum-like environment of the Mock Convention and the opportunity students have to express their opinions on important issues.

"I like the long-standing tradition of the Mock Convention and the fact that this is not just a Republican ideological sect, but offers more broad exposure to issues that affect everyone," he says.

Delegates representing all the states of the union will debate party platform issues ranging from health care and tax reform to e-commerce and global trade to domestic and international terrorism. They also will nominate presidential and vice presidential candidates from the slate of Republican Party contenders.

The 2000 body convenes in the University's Gray Chapel beginning at 3 p.m. Friday. The convention reconvenes at 9 a.m. Saturday. The public is invited to attend at any time.

U.S. Representative David Hobson, OWU Class of 1958, will give the convention's opening address at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. Ohio's Secretary of State and Forbes 2000 National Chairman, J. Kenneth Blackwell, will speak after Congressman Hobson at 4 p.m. Speaking on Saturday morning are Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett at 10 a.m. and State Representative Pat Tiberi at 10:15 a.m., followed by State Senator Eugene Watts at 10:30 a.m. Representatives from the McCain and Bush campaigns will follow Watts. Nominating and balloting for the presidential candidate will take place on Saturday.

The 2000 Republican Mock Convention is organized by a student committee headed by senior Nicole Dailey from Parma, with assistance from advisor Joan McLean, OWU associate professor of politics and government. For more information, call the Mock Convention office at 740-368-3787 and leave a message.