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Attacks distract potential voters

Some closely follow election, while others ignore it

Some UNM students have closely followed the mayoral race and plan to vote during Tuesday's election despite overwhelming media coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Other students can't even name one candidate.

Bryan Kaehr, a biology student at UNM, said he's voting for incumbent Jim Baca.

"If for no other reason, it's really obvious the progress he's made with Downtown development," he said. "It's kind of the tarnished jewel of Albuquerque. It just needs a little cleaning up."

He said Martin Ch†vez made many proposals as mayor but didn't follow through with his plans.

"I can see, first hand, the progress of his ideas," he said of Baca.

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Kaehr said he feels guilty if he doesn't vote.

"I feel that I have no right to say anything about any issue or any politician," he said.

He said that UNM students, as usual, will probably fail to show up at the polls.

"I think what it boils down to is laziness or forgetfulness," he said.

Ada Bowlin, a nutrition major at UNM who moved to Albuquerque from eastern New Mexico about a year ago, said she doesn't know much about the mayor or the mayoral race.

"Being a student here, I kind of feel like it doesn't really impact me so I don't pay attention to it," she said.

Bowlin, a registered voter, said she voted during the last presidential election.

"I knew a little more about it," she said.

She added that voting is important and that she'd vote for mayor if she knew more.

"I haven't made an effort to find out about it," she said.

About 10 of 15 UNM students approached turned down interviews with the Daily Lobo because they said they did not know about the election and didn't want to look stupid in the newspaper. Some of those students were not from Albuquerque.

UNM student Beth Hahn, a journalism major, said people have been reading less about the mayoral race due to the recent terrorist attacks.

"It's not really the biggest concern right now," she said. "I see it, but it's not really what I see first."

Hahn said she isn't voting for mayor in Albuquerque, but will vote for mayor in her hometown.

Brian Eagan, president of College Democrats, said the attacks have, understandably, taken over the news.

"The election hasn't been in the media," he said. "But it's still very important that people go vote."

UNM student Andrew McCants, a mechanical engineering major, said he watched three mayoral forums on television and will be voting for James Lewis.y.

"He seemed the most straightforward - not trying to attack other people - just giving his ideas," he said.

McCants said Baca isn't a true environmentalist because he pushes for road construction that causes stopped traffic, which leads to exhaust pollution.

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