Jan. 5-9: College Convention 2020 draws students, presidential hopefuls to Manchester

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Scene from 2016 College Convention. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH — When the curtain rises on New England College (NEC) and its College Convention 2020, nearly a dozen Presidential candidates have already confirmed a visit, and others are finalizing plans to do the same.  This will be the first major multi-candidate event of the 2020 Presidential Primary in New Hampshire.

Scheduled for January 5th – 9th in Manchester NH, the convention will bring together candidates and campaigns, college students from New Hampshire and across the country, political science faculty members, and members of the general public. 

So far, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennet, Bill Weld, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Joe Walsh , Marianne Williamson and Deval Patrick have all grabbed slots during the course of the week.  Bernie Sanders will appear for a live talk-back via video and Former Second Lady Jill Biden will be paying a visit. A number of other candidates, including Andrew Yang are working to finalize a visit as well, making this a “must stop” on the campaign trail headed into the February 11, 2020, New Hampshire Presidential Primary.  A full schedule can be found here: www.necfitn.com

Tickets are $40 for the full conference, or $25 for one day only. Register here.

Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Vice President of Academic Affairs and a Professor of Political Science at New England College, said, “We are thrilled by the response from campaigns, and appreciate that they view this as an outstanding opportunity to speak directly to young people who are deeply engaged in this process.  The audience will be engaged and students are excited to participate.”

College Convention has taken place every 4 years since 2000 and has historically boasted attendance of over 500 college students. The event is open to students, campaigns, their supporters, and NH voters. Campaigns will also be able to participate in the Convention with exhibitor booths, candidate speeches, engagement with students, and in a Campaign Volunteer Night. Students will also be able to earn College Course Credit.

A Ranked Choice Voting election will be held during the several days of the event. College Convention 2020 will be conducting this live candidate preference “vote” using a ranked-choice voting system.  All registered conference attendees will be able to cast a vote for their top three candidates. The results will be announced on January 9 during the capstone plenary session.