As the Presidential election moves forward and an ever-increasing stable of candidates hits the campaign trail, New Hampshire is definitely one of the places to be.
Thanks to New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, this year’s candidates are visiting us often. And this year, the importance of the state among presidential hopefuls has been recognized by the American Federation for Children and The Seventy Four, nonprofits dedicated to educational opportunities for American children, with their selection of Londonderry High School as the site for the 2015 Education Summit.
The Aug. 19 event will convert the high school gym into a TV studio and will bring in Republican presidential hopefuls to discuss the future of American education, to be streamed live on CNN and other networks and taped for replay. A similar event for Democratic candidates will take place in Iowa.
Thus far, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Chris Christie and John Kasich have confirmed their attendance.
Even though school will not yet be in session for the year, LHS students in video production, history and civics classes are invited to watch the event and in some cases, help out, while the school newspaper staff will have the chance to shadow professional reporters.
Meanwhile, between 500 and 600 members of the public will be admitted to the event via a lottery system.
The Londonderry School District should be flattered that it was chosen to host the national event. Other districts were contacted, and Londonderry was clearly the winner.
Residents are winners as well – the district will be compensated for any and all expenses, down to, as officials said, the extra toilet paper required.
Each presidential election season, we remind residents of the benefits that come with living in a state where politics is practiced on an up close and personal level. We can meet candidates in person in places we frequent anyway, whether it’s MaryAnn’s Diner in Derry, Mack’s orchard in Londonderry, a monthly political party meeting, or a neighbor’s house party. And now a nationally televised forum will be hosted in the Lancers’ gym.
So try to get a forum ticket. And if you’re a Democrat or an Independent, you should be in the room with the candidates along with the Republicans.
Winning or losing in New Hampshire doesn’t seal a candidate’s fate, but it plays a significant role in what will happen in other states in the months ahead. And it factors into who will be on the ticket for the coming election.
By virtue of residence in New Hampshire, the significance of our vote resonates from coast to coast. And by hosting this education forum in Londonderry, we are getting a head start on that vote.