University News

Professor, Former Student Pair Up for Election Coverage

October 18, 2016

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MACOMB, IL – An academic relationship that began at the University of Missouri-Columbia will result in a Western Illinois University professor re-joining his student to provide election night coverage this year.

WIU Centennial Honors College Director Richard Hardy was a professor at the University of Missouri when KHQA television reporter, anchor and producer Rajah Maples, of Quincy, IL, was a student there. Maples said she worked with Hardy through her job at the University of Missouri's News Bureau.

"Now, I'm on the other side of the fence, working as a journalist," said Maples. "I knew without a doubt that Dr. Hardy should be our political expert due to his years of political expertise and knowledge of all three states (we cover). He has also run for office. Because of these reasons, Dr. Hardy is the most knowledgeable political expert in the Tri-States."

At Western, Hardy also directs the University's large mock presidential election, which is held every four years and incorporates students from many of Western's academic disciplines. He has touted the event as one of the "largest and most elaborate mock presidential simulations in the nation."

Hardy will be in Quincy Tuesday, Nov. 8 to cover local, regional, state and national elections and provide commentary as the results come in. He said it is "an honor to be working with Maples and the other professionals at KHQA."

"I will be focusing on the key statewide races in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois," he said. "Each state has its own unique political culture, and it will be my role to examine where the votes are coming from and discover breaking trends."

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