Mount Union Students Moderate Meet and Greet with Local Candidates

October 30, 2017

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union hosted a Meet the Candidates night on Thursday for the candidates running for Alliance City Council. The event was a joint effort between the Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement and the Department of Political Science and International Studies.

Donald Bartolet, Brandi Douthitt, Julie Jakmides ‘13, Brian Simeone, David Smith and Roger Rhome are the six candidates running for city council. Unfortunately, not all of the candidates were able to attend the event, however, those in attendance were able to introduce themselves to the audience.

Douthitt, a small business owner in Alliance, decided to run because of the feeling of helplessness she gets when talking to community members.

“I absolutely believe Alliance is full of potential,” Douthitt said.

Simeone has grown up on Alliance and graduated from Marlington. He is the owner of a small company and hopes to bring more manufacturing and industry to Alliance.

Jakmides has served six terms on city council. She was first elected to the council when she was a freshman at Mount Union.

“I think my experience, education, and my commitment to the city makes me a good candidate,” Jakmides said.

Smith, a veteran and graduate of West Branch, served in the military for 21 years with 36 months in combat. He is a part of the American Legion.

Throughout the event, four Mount Union students were able to ask questions to each of the candidates, they could either be general for all of them to answer or specific to one of the candidates.

Royal Bandurka ’18, a political science major from Minerva, was the first to ask a question and it was aimed at Jakmides. Spencer Whyte ’19, a political science major from Broadview Heights, Olivia Cope ’20, a communications major from Portage Lake, and Joe Demeis ’21, a national security major from Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania each had a chance to ask questions to the candidates.

The questions they asked related to the candidates’ stances on taxes, owning a small business in Alliance and how the candidates planned to use Mount Union to increase the number of jobs in Alliance.

The event ended with audience members writing down questions for the candidates to answer. There was time for the candidates to have one-on-one conversations with the candidates.

The event was held like a town hall meeting allowing each candidate a turn to speak and community members the chance to ask their questions.

For more information about upcoming events, visit

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