Press Release

‘Speed Date’ the Candidates

January 20, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

On Jan. 23, Ohio Wesleyan students will host a ‘speed date’ the candidates event as they prepare for their Feb. 21-22 Democratic Mock Presidential Convention, an OWU tradition dating back to 1884. Here, students held a speed-dating event as part of their 2016 mock convention. (Photo by Pam Laucher)

Ohio Wesleyan Students to Portray Democratic Presidential Hopefuls at Jan. 23 Mock Convention Event

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University students will portray leading Democratic presidential candidates in a speed-dating-style event that allows other students and participants to meet the candidates, ask questions, and then switch as everyone searches for the perfect political partner.

The speed-daters will have about six minutes with each candidate, after which a buzzer will sound, and everyone will rotate to a different candidate. The free public event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 23 in Benes Room A of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Candidates being portrayed and their OWU-student stand-ins are:

  • Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden – Fatima Iqbal
  • Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg – Cole Peterson
  • Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg – Danielle Black
  • U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii – Greg Margevicius
  • U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – Alexis Greene
  • U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont – Ahmed Hamed
  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – Dylan Hays
  • Businessman Andrew Yang – Mallorie Watts

The speed-dating event is one of the advance events leading up to Ohio Wesleyan’s 2020 Democratic Mock Presidential Convention. The two-day event, which simulates all of the pomp, circumstance, and excitement of a national nominating convention, will take place Feb. 21-22 in Gray Chapel inside University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

This year’s convention will kick off at 4 p.m. Feb. 21 (doors open at 3 p.m.) with opening ceremonies, including the traditional Call to Order, Presentation of Colors, National Anthem, and Installation of Convention Chairs. Following a dinner break, platform debates will begin at 7 p.m. and continue into the night.

The convention will resume at 9 a.m. Feb. 22 and conclude around noon, following the election of the Democratic presidential and vice presidential ticket and closing ceremonies. The event is free and open to the public.

Because the OWU event always features the party out of the White House, the 2020 Mock Convention focuses on the Democratic race. The theme of this year’s convention is “The Future is Ours.”

Ohio Wesleyan held its first Mock Convention in 1884 and since 1920 has conducted the event during nearly every presidential election. Learn more about Mock Convention at www.owu.edu/mockconvention or www.facebook.com/OWUMock.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.