High school students organize 'one of a kind' political debate

Drew Edmonson and Kevin Stitt take the stage before debating for Oklahoma high school students (KOKH Mckenna Eubank).

Oklahoma high school students grilled Kevin Stitt and Drew Edmondson in a one-of-a-kind gubernatorial debate.

The non-profit group “From Now On” said this is the first-time high school students have ever organized a debate like this. The purpose is to get Oklahoma’s youngest voters engaged in this year's election.

"The civic involvement in high school students is so extremely low," Madilyn Robs, a senior at Edmond Memorial High School, told Fox 25.

"Civic engagement from teenagers and young students is very important. We need to know that their vote matters, their opinions matter, they can sway the votes. We really want them involved."

Student moderators asked a series of questions to both candidates, including topics like healthcare.

Republican candidate Kevin Stitt said, "I've got to have the authority to appoint that agency head so we can appoint better services to our rural hospitals. To our nursing homes. At the end of the day, this is about delivering services."

Drew Edmondson chimed in next by saying, "The Medicaid expansion would immediately provide healthcare services to 153,000 Oklahomans that work full time but currently earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, and not enough to opt in to the insurance pool."

The students also asked about education.

"We fund common education which is K-12, and then we've got career techs, then you've got higher ed,” Stitt said, “I want every student to graduate from high school and to know that there is a hope and a future and a great career for you."

Edmondson said, "It is shameful how we have short changed education. We need to offer the students in high school today, the same opportunities that I had decades ago in Muskogee Oklahoma."

Reagan Stephens, a high school senior from Weatherford said she wishes everyone would have the opportunity to react with candidates face to face before election day.

“We don't always get to see through social media or the newspapers. Getting actually to interact with them and that, for me especially, that's important."

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