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UA Debate Series to host Presidents' Day debate

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Taylor Vandenburgh | The Daily Wildcat

The UA Debate Series hosts its Presidents' Day debate on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Since its inception almost two years ago, the University of Arizona Debate Series has tackled a variety of relevant issues, including college tuition, immigration and Title IX.

Its next event, topical for Presidents' Day, is a debate between the top presidential forerunners for the upcoming 2020 elections — with the exception of Andrew Yang, who recently announced he was dropping out of contention.

The debate, taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 18, will involve six debaters taking on the roles of candidates Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Andrew Yang.

Josh Tashoff, a freshman majoring in history and political science, will be taking on the role of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.

"Well, I haven't done a debate all season. I've been getting hyped for this debate all year," Tashoff said. "When the time came to choose people, I was basically automatically slotted to be Bernie, which is nice. All of us are really into politics, but some of us have certain people that we're into. For most of the semester, we had been preparing for the high school tournament we hosted two weeks ago. But now, these past two weeks, I've been looking at Bernie's policies and making sure they fit with the topics they've assigned to us."

RELATED: UA Debate Series continues to make a name for itself, hosts high school tournament

The six candidates will be discussing four topics — military and nuclear weapons, healthcare, the economy and climate change. There will be a prompt, a resolution, and then each candidate will have a minute to answer, which is followed by discussion and argument.

RJ Lynch is a senior majoring in political science, law and classics who will take on the role of current president and candidate Donald Trump.

"Well I'm the only conservative in the entire debate series and Trump is someone I align with. I'm excited to discuss nuclear arms and the economy," Lynch said. "I've known since last semester who I was going to play and I already keep up with Trump's ideologies, so I've been just formulating how I want to say it."

In addition to the six presidential candidates, the UA Debate Series has decided to add six campaign managers who help their candidates perform more smoothly come Tuesday.

"My focus has been focusing on … picking out the niches of Andrew Yang's policies so that way my candidate is very informed when he's going up on the debate stages," said Vincent Jasso, who will be acting as Andrew Yang's campaign manager. "I've been doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes research for him and preparing all of his counters for his opponents."

The UA Debate Series will host its annual Presidents' Day debate on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in the College of  Law, Room 168. Stay up to date with the team on Twitter and Facebook.


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