By Amanda Ostrowski, Shea Sullivan, and H. Suzie Lee
2016 brought a state of shock to American politics and a major defeat to Democrats. Since then, democrats have been trying to rally up presidential candidates to take back the white house in 2020.
Former vice president Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have been the candidates most heard in the public ear, yet neither one has declared a campaign for presidency. Sanders is a very popular candidate that appeals to many young voters, a very important characteristic democrats are looking for.
However, Sander’s loss to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries may haunt his chances of winning the 2020 primary, democratic voters must look for someone electable, and losing to a losing candidate in past years is not a promising sign.
Biden is another candidate who has the ability to attract young voters and democratic voters that may have sat at home in 2016. Although Biden’s politics do not resonate as much within the current day democratic party, he has proven to been electable and has defeated Trump in many 2020 polls. If the party is looking to nominate someone due to their electability over their actual politics, Biden is certainly the right choice if he chooses to run.
One drawback for both Biden and Sanders may be their age, thankfully for them, a number of younger democrats are in the mix.
Beto O’Rourke is a democrat who has strongly increased his platform after narrowly losing to republican incumbent senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas senate election. A democrat who can possibly flip Texas, a republican stronghold and state with 38 electoral votes, is certainly a top contender for the 2020 democratic nomination.
Like Biden and Sanders, O’Rourke can bring in many new and young voters. He has past experience in congress, and although he lost his senate election, he proved that he can challenge popular candidates in even the most conservative states. O’Rourke has not yet announced his decision on whether he will run for president but is expected to soon.
As for candidates who have declared their presidential bid, many are important figures among liberals, yet the majority of them are pretty unheard of to the average voter.
Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard was one of the first congressional democrats to declare her candidacy for president, running her campaign on the ‘aloha’ spirit. Gabbard, a former army medic, is a very young and progressive candidate; however, she lacks experience and name recognition, and also has a past of strongly advocating for anti-LGBT laws.
While the Hawaiian representatives states her views have changed, that is definitely not something a democrat in a crowded field is going to want to have in their history. Gabbard may be a contender for democrats in the future, but certainty is not the best choice to take on Trump in 2020.
One candidate who has certainly spread their name is California Senator Kamala Harris. Harris, the former attorney general of the state, made national headlines after announcing her decision. She is another upcoming democrat that has caught the attention of millennials and those who may be voting for the first time in 2020. She also might be able to ignite the Obama voters in crucial midwestern states that felt uninspired in the 2016 election.
While the California senator may seem like a perfect fit for the increasingly progressive party, her history as the state attorney general has created controversy. Under her rule, California’s incarceration rate increased, as well as legislation that negatively impacted families. Harris’s name may be spreading out into the public, but her name comes with her record, possibly leaving a bad taste for many voters.
Another candidate that has a possibility of exciting the Obama base, is New Jersey senator Cory Booker. Booker has the ability to engage with new voting demographics, but probably not as much as Harris and contenders like Biden, Sanders and O’Rourke.
Although the garden state senator may not have a past with many problems to hide, he is not seen as the biggest proponent for affordable prescription drugs and health care, something democrats seem to value more and more each election. For a young candidate, Booker has a big future ahead and he nor democrats should waste that on such a big upcoming election.
Right next door in New York is senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand replaced Clinton’s senate spot in 2009 after she was appointed to Secretary of State by President Obama. This fact already creates problems for Gillibrand. Democrats want to forget the embarrassment of 2016, and electing a candidate that can be easily comparable to Clinton is not going to help them.
Gillibrand, a centrist liberal has grown more progressive in recent years. She was the first candidate to call on Minnesota Senator Al Franken to resign after sexual assault allegations, and has consistently voted for non-discriminatory legislation.
Despite her recent liberal stances, she has a pretty conservative past for a democrat. She received an A rating from the NRA when first elected, and also has a record of anti-immigration beliefs. If democrats want to move on to a relatively controversy free future, Gillibrand is certainly not the right choice.
Staying on the East coast, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren drew mixed feelings from the country when she announced her run for the white house. Warren has been attacked countless times by President Trump and by tribal groups after she inaccurately claiming she has Native American Ancestry.
Aside from this controversy, Warren is a candidate with many positive ideas and one that can lead the democratic party. Unfortunately for her, she is from Massachusetts, a very democratic state that is not a make or break for the presidency. As a result of this, Warren would struggle in winning back rust belt and swing states democrats lost in 2016. Although a good candidate, the Massachusetts senator is not the wisest decision for nomination if democrats want a fighting chance.
One last candidate democrats have to consider is Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar. Clinton barely won Minnesota in 2016 by a point. In the most recent senate election, Klobuchar won Minnesota by 24 points, a very promising sign for the party if they want to win back midwestern states. The Minnesota senator is more of a centrist, yet has many aspects the base can support such as helping the environment, net neutrality, health care and winning elections. Klobuchar may not be as popular right now, especially with allegations of the negative way she has treated staff.
If Klobuchar can muddle through these allegations and escalate her name and platform, she can be a big player in the democratic primaries.
While the Iowa caucus, the first big test for presidential candidates one year away, it is once again time for democrats to think about who can take on Trump, and they certainly have plenty of options.
The girls lacrosse team has been working hard to get ready for regular season. With practices a few times a week, the team is growing stronger physically and mentally.
Mike Sheehan has been the girls lacrosse coach for five years. Sheehan aims to “provide the teaching and motivation to put the team in a position to win 16 plus games.” Preparing for the spring, Sheehan challenges the team to grow altogether, so that rivalries can be beaten.
“The team has been meeting 3 times per week splitting time between the weight room and conditioning. Many of the girls have been attending clinics to improve their Lax IQ.” Sheehan says. Sheehan and the girls hope to beat challenging teams like Green, Hoover, St Joseph, Brecksville and Brunswick.
Sheehan’s goals for the rest of the year include winning 16+ games, playing into the third round of state playoffs, scoring 144 goals as a team, and having less than 90 goals scored against Stow.
Senior Lexi Armstrong hopes to win more games than lose games and to keep improving as a team. Armstrong works on encouraging teammates as well. “I encourage teammates by helping them fix their mistakes or improve their skills rather than getting upset at them and making them feel bad” Armstrong says, “Sheehan always says a team is only as strong as the weakest player.”
Junior and goalie Audrey Stone’s season objective is to make an interception and clear an opponent’s score over the 75 yard line. Stone encourages herself by working hard every practice. “I have been focusing on improving my reaction time so I can be a better player.” Stone says.
Lacrosse has been an immensely growing sport in the US this decade. With the growing popularity and mass of new players, the girls must keep up their pace to beat oncoming teams. During the 2017-2018 year, girls lacrosse held a dominating record of 17 wins and 4 losses.
“The game brings me back every year” Senior Madie Gash says, “I love the person I become when I’m out on the field, it transforms me and makes me lose track of all time and I love it.”
Gash strives to constantly push herself; at the same time, reminds herself why she comes back each year –to endure her deep passion and talent for the game. Gash wishes for the team to be “the most positive, most hardworking and most skilled” in the league this year.
Gash is committed to play lacrosse in college for Ashland University, a private division II school in Ashland, Ohio ranked as a “Best College” in National Universities Tier 2.
“My goal is to continue to encourage my teammates and myself to be the best players we can be.” Gash says.
Main goals for the girls are to continue working hard and make it past the first round of playoffs. Stow lacrosse looks to keep getting better and end the season on a strong note.
As spring is being looked upon by many of the high school’s athletes, runners, sprinters and throwers take part in indoor track to prepare for the outdoor season. Regular track season (beginning the first week of March) is being looked forward to as girls indoor track has a good amount of athletes preparing.
Track coach Aaron Morris says the team has about 20 sprinters, 15 distance runners and five throwers [shot put and weight throw, not discus due to limited space] training this winter. Events taking place this winter are 60m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, 3200m, 60H, long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put and weight throw.
As said, Morris explains that throwers can not participate in some of their real season events. “Some indoor events are a little different during indoor because of the space restrictions” says Morris.
The indoor team competes at Kent State twice, Youngstown State twice, Spire Institute in Geneva, Baldwin Wallace and Mount Union. According to Morris, the season has been going smoothly so far despite the weather. “The season started out really well for us in the first two meets. The third meet was snowed out” says Morris.
Indoor track applies to the outdoor season by “giving us [the team] a chance to do a lot of things in preparation for outdoor track”. “It allows the athletes to prepare their bodies for the rigors of outdoor track. We use the conditioning and weight lifting as a way to limit the danger of injury when the intensity of training picks up in
March” Morris adds.
The indoor season is said to allow coaches to teach athletes how to do events that they may have been interested
in trying, but never done before. The team will work on technique with those that have done specialty events like high jump and hurdles and get a head start on the outdoor season. Also, giving athletes a chance to practice competing, both physically and mentally.
“By the end of May, athletes need to be mentally prepared to compete in big meets, on their own, in a strange environment, surrounded by tons of people in close proximity” says Morris.
Morris says the team holds a few athletes that have been performing particularly well this winter. Junior Aimee Grimm is currently ranked 11th in the state for the 60H as freshman Kirstin Spangler is tied for 23rd in the state for high jump. Senior Katie Hall broke the school record for indoor shot put at only the first indoor meet. The record was initially held by current track coach, Lainie Glasgow.
Grimm believes that training hard in the off season is “extremely beneficial by the time outdoor comes around”. Grimm has competed in indoor track for three years now. This year, Grimm is focusing on the 60m hurdles and the
400m. Grimm’s fastest 60H time is 9.78 seconds, as she hopes to break former hurdler Kayla Thompson’s 60H record of 9.16.
“The indoor season allows us athletes to compete in different events than outdoor allows, some of the races are
shortened and it allows you to work on the starts of the races, which are very important” says Grimm,