On Wednesday afternoon, June 15th, the Federalists of Missouri Girls State made their way to Scheidegger Theater to listen to the candidates for the state party convention. The young women in the crowd were able to listen in on how the candidates planned to represent their party. Anyone can make a claim, but today, the crowd listened to the candidates' promises. Time will tell if those elected will keep those promises.
Thirty-three women stood before the crowd, campaigning for the last time. The Federalists ideals, according to those on the stage, involve environmental issues, women’s reproductive rights, and race relations. To start off, the Rules and Regulations committee conformed the allotted amount of times for each position: those not running for governor had one minute and thirty seconds to speak, and the governor candidates had two minutes to speak. The platform discussed environmental issues, rights for women, and rights for disabilities. These are the topics that were most discussed in the speeches.
The auditors started off the convention. Elle Vancil offered advice and spoke on the problem of deforestation. Kayce Collins followed this up with her stand for minority rights. The last candidate for this position was Laine Bushmeyer, and she shared her desire of writing audit reports. She is quoted as saying, “We are not about corruption here.”
For the position of attorney general, Ava Wischnewski wanted to advocate for the public and told of her love of communication. Meimona Ibrahim urged the enforcement of state law and enforcement of environmental law, mentioning how she would represent both the Nationalist party and Federalist party. Sara Rogers compared herself to frogs: she, like frogs, is sensitive. She supported sports for Missouri Girls State and more integration with the boys side. Omoye Ehimare wanted to represent the state, “...or in our case, Missouri Girls State.” She believed her compassion for others would take her far in the role. Courtney Canzonere preferred one on one conversation. She believed that “we’re all in this together,” and is, in her words, prepared for the role.
Treasurers were next on the list. Lauren Rosenbaun told us of her previous experience, her love of meeting people, her organization skills, and her love of finance. One of her plans was to put government money into separate accounts for specific uses. Sady Petty reminisced about her small town, and because of it, lack of money, which led to experience in finance. She said, “There are so many crooks out there nowadays,” and reminded us that she was not one of them. Karly Cox shared with us experience. She told us that everything costs money, but “with Karly, your money is safe in my hands.” Ciella Mupenda was from a small town in the east part of Africa. Quoted with saying, “You name it,” Mupenda told the crowd how interested she was with everything political. Emma Snider made comments about her wanting to continue to lead and be involved with Girls State. She’s detail oriented and comfortable putting in work for the treasurer position.
Candidates for the secretary of state soon filed onto the floor. In her speech, Bridget Naas talked about how she wanted to stay out of drama. She wanted to end the complications that came with the voting process here at Lindenwood. Emma Fichter showed no shame when admitting to being a Swiftie. She talked about lobbyists, health, and assisting the governor. During her speech, she said, “Forever stand out in MGS history.” Rachel Singer showed her longing to keep state records secure. Singer informed us of her responsibility and organization skills. Grace Wright prefers to listen and keep track of other voices, but is not afraid to have her own. She promotes a different sleep schedule. Sofia Flores briefed the crowd on her theater experience and how that would help her in the secretary of state position. She talked about her confidence and organization skills.
Lieutenant governor was next on the schedule. Dakota Bilyeu is from a small town, an advocate for the environment, and quoted the Girl’s State song in saying that we are the future builders. She spoke on deforestation and plastic pollution. Lacey Franksen noticed that the reason for girls not running for large positions were because they weren’t good enough, and she advocates for supporting women. Laila Saint Christopher shared her desire to give voice to others and brought out a large piece of paper on stage. This paper contained the written words of many women on campus which expressed what the people wanted to see in a lieutenant governor and what they wanted to see happen at Girls State in general. Christopher wishes to give all different kinds of people a voice. Ruth Workineh Presented many leadership qualities and spoke on mental health and dietary restrictions. Grace Pund exhibited her hope to have the office run efficiently and create a website for all Missouri Girls State delegates to stay connected.
Now comes the position many were waiting on. Governor. Emily Wothmore started us off by saying it was a priority of hers to make lasting connections and claiming that she is a supporter of the freedoms being an American citizen comes with. She is quoted as saying, “People before politics.” Faith Glasgow allowed us a moment of silence before her speech to honor those who lost their lives in recent mass shootings. She advocated for climate control and loose dress codes. Charity Middleton told us that she was not running for the title, and her goal was to represent our beliefs. She hopes to be a big sister to future delegates. Arthi Kondapaneni discussed imagragtion, particularly her mother’s. Kondapaneni’s mother immigrated from India. She talked about embracing one’s identity, and a vote for her counts for so much more. Cecilia Bartin admitted she was selfish, but only because she had to be. She said that women must uplift one another, and women’s bodies must not be policed. She is quoted as saying that the “Facade is crumbling.” Josie Morgan credited her run for governor because of her brother’s death. Mareina Harris said that she was running for fun. Originally, she never wanted to be at Girl’s State, but ended up running anyway. Danielle Baig discussed equal rights, racial equality, and her own experience with racial discrimination. Zoe Walker provided some insight into her past, advocating for better meals, better education of elections, and less of women being pitted against each other. Olivia Matthews talked about the dress code, better communication, and giving the United States a better name.
The candidate’s speeches overlapped. Many talked about their past and experience. Plans and goals between the candidates were more or less the same. Although only one can be voted, because the young womens’ federalist ideals are so close, even though controversial, the outcome of the primary elections may not matter at all.