This is the most important election of your lifetime, and I know you’ve probably heard this a lot over the past few months. The State Senate race in Penn State’s district is one of the reasons why.

Ezra Nanes is the Democrat running for State Senate in the 34th District against Republican incumbent, Jake Corman. Corman is the epitome of an establishment politician.

Corman has been in that seat for twenty years, longer than some current Penn State students have been alive, and his father was in the same seat for twenty years before him. Meanwhile, Nanes is a first-time candidate.

Despite being a first-time candidate, he is currently tied with Corman according to a recent internal poll conducted by the campaign. Nanes graduated from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business with his MBA as Valedictorian of his class.

He works at Accuweather, which is one of the most prominent local businesses in State College. He has lived in State College for twelve years and has started his family here with his wife Mieke.

Nanes has taken time to genuinely listen to students and to value our opinions. He has come to events on campus like the College Republicans 9/11 Memorial, College Democrats meetings, meeting and greeting students in the HUB and Yom Kippur Services at Hillel.

He understands issues in our daily lives, like the fact Pennsylvania has the second highest in-state tuition in the country, and that many Pennsylvanians are struggling to go to and to afford college.

He understands the issues that impact our futures. While Nanes is in the State College community and engaging with students both on campus and off, Corman is nowhere to be found.

Incumbency has always been a factor that has helped Mr. Corman, but this year a record number of new voters have appeared at Penn State and throughout Centre County. It is time for students to send a message to Harrisburg.

When it comes to issues college students tend to care about, Corman falls flat. Corman has a 0% rating from Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates and the PA Chapter of the Sierra Club (one of the nation’s oldest environmental protection interest groups), proving he is woefully out of touch with issues that students care about.

In contrast, Nanes has been endorsed by both of these organizations. He also has been endorsed by Moms Demand Action, Equality Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Penn State College Democrats.

Make no mistake: if Ezra Nanes wins on Nov. 6th, it will make national news. It will send a message to politicians everywhere, be an effective representative or get out.

If you want to be a part of history, knock doors and canvass for him, tell your friends about him, and get out and vote for him. This Nov. 6th, vote for Ezra Nanes for State Senate District 34, and send the message that students show up.

Katierose Epstein is a senior at Penn State University studying political science and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She is the president of Penn State College Democrats. 

The Daily Collegian reached out to Penn State College Republicans asking if someone would be interested in writing a guest column to run parallel to this, but did not receive a response by the time of publication. 

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