With a stage packed with candidates and a crowd full of kids, it was game on in Williston Friday morning.
"I know that all of the speakers were nervous to talk and I think the candidates were nervous too, but I couldn't see because I guess they're good at hiding that," said Mishka Rehak, a student.
The candidate forum at the Williston Central School featured a mix of the men and women running to fill Vermont's top offices. And the questions came from the kids who've been studying the races since last spring.
Republican for governor Randy Brock took on health care.
Rehak asked, "In your platform you say health care is a privilege. Why is that? Does that mean that less privileged citizens aren't deserving of the most beneficial medical care?"
Brock answered, "I think that health care is not a right, but I believe it is the right thing to do. That's why my platform and my plan calls for coverage of 100 percent the availability of health insurance to 100 percent of Vermonters, but doing it in a way that the government doesn't provide it."
Cassandra Gekas, the Democrat for lieutenant governor was pressed on energy.
"What are your plans to decrease the cost of energy while making sure that there is little to no impact on the environment?" asked student Jeff Goldman.
"One is that we need to continue to do everything we can to increase energy efficiency of our commercial buildings and people's homes across the state, so as lieutenant governor, I would make sure that those programs are well-funded," answered Gekas.
U.S. Senate candidate John MacGovern and attorney general competitors Bill Sorrell and Jack McMullen were also peppered in the hands-on approach to exploring the democratic process.
"I think the candidates did a good job of explaining what they thought about how the government should be run," Rehak said.
"I think they did really well," student Austyn Moryn said. "They didn't really seem to struggle to answer any of the questions."
The students says they're learning lessons years before they'll be eligible to vote, but plan to share a thing or two with folks at home.
"Don't be biased and vote for the party, vote for who you think is right," Moryn advised.
The forum has been a tradition in Williston for more than a decade and the candidates have already been invited back for 2014.
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