Republican Club Conducts Phone Banking for Niehaus

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The King’s Republicans kicked off the year with a two-hour phone banking session to raise support.

Students of The King’s College’s new Republican Club contacted voters for two hours Wednesday night on the 15th floor of the Empire State Building to garner support for State Assembly candidate Paul Niehaus. Event organizers—juniors Jeremy Cerone, Chad Abbott, Travis Drost and sophomore Christian Stempert—encouraged King’s students to join them in the Manhattan Room from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., equipped with cell phones and computers.

“Phone banking is really a very simple, typical task,” Cerone said. Students had a list of numbers to call and variating scripts on hand to answer different responses. "It can be a little intimidating at first, but once you really get into a rhythm it just goes smoothly," Cerone said.

Abbott and Cerone both said the King's Republicans' most important task is to do what they can to encourage Republican voters to get to their polling locations on Election Day. “This particular special election that we’re working on is in the most Republican district in Manhattan," Cerone said. "Manhattan has not had a single Republican at any level of federal or state government for over a decade."

“It’s not like we’re trying to change minds,” Abbott said. “These people already believe the things we believe, but they’re just not coming out to vote. It’s discouraging—that’s what we’re trying to combat.”

And phone banking, according to Cerone, is a great way for candidates to encourage votes.

“We thought that it would be awesome to have our first real campaigning event be up here on campus to ease people into things," Cerone said.

Nine students were present at the event, which met Abbott and Cerone's expectations for the night. While they had anticipated Niehaus representatives would be able to attend as well, representatives had to cancel due to necessary campaign work at Niehaus’s campaign headquarters.

Republican Club members will still be able to meet Niehaus representatives next week, however. The club’s executive team plans to bring King’s students to the candidate’s campaign headquarters on Monday and Tuesday (Election Day) to further help Niehaus’s campaign.

Upon arriving at the headquarters, they will be assigned specific tasks based on the current campaigning needs. Students will be making calls, going to “doors and street corners, and everything like that, right up until the polls close on Tuesday," Abbott said. "It’s not the most fun, but it is very effective."

MiscRebecca Jacobson