Politics & Government

Al Franken applauds State College volunteers’ efforts

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,takes a selfie with Vasundara Varadan during his visit the PA Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office phone bank for Hillary on Friday.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.,takes a selfie with Vasundara Varadan during his visit the PA Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office phone bank for Hillary on Friday. adrey@centredaily.com

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., visited the Pa. Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office for a phone bank event on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Friday evening.

About 50 volunteers gathered at the office located at 112 W. Foster Ave., Suite 2, in downtown State College, to make calls. Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer, briefly spoke to the volunteers, thanking them for donating their time. Franken said he won his first election in 2008 by 312 votes, saying he’s the poster child for every vote counts and every call counts.

“Work through the 8th,” he said.

Franken said he knows many of the people at the event have jobs and families.

“Ignore them,” he said, which made some in the crowd laugh.

Franken said Clinton is a hard-worker, tough and smart. She has worked for kids and families her entire career. When kids are doing well, the country is doing well, he said.

In contrast, he said Republican nominee Donald Trump is the most ill-qualified person he’s ever seen get this close to the presidency. Volunteer Carolyn Bellanti, 76, of State College, said she has worked at a phone bank before trying to get people out to register to vote. She said she also volunteered for President Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

At the event Friday, she said she called people who had indicated an interest in the Democratic Party and told them she hoped they were voting for Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty.

“I think this is perhaps the most important election,” she said. “I don’t think the choice has ever been clearer.”

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