PFP EXCLUSIVE: Former President Cecelia Paylor

Cecelia Paylor (Civic-D8) attends a campaign event in District 3. The former President of the Republic of Panem is seeking a rematch against current President Katniss Everdeen, who defeated her by a wide margin.

Cecelia Paylor (Civic-D8) attends a campaign event in District 3. The former President of the Republic of Panem is seeking a rematch against current President Katniss Everdeen, who defeated her by a wide margin.

Former President Cecelia Paylor does not easily forget her downfalls. After all, it was she who was soundly defeated last time. All odds were in her favor- she was an incumbent president with little scandal to speak of. The only problem was that she was not the most popular person in Panem.

Cecelia Paylor was born and raised in District 8. Like most leaders in Panem, Paylor was born under the authoritarian rule of President Coriolanus Snow III, the father of the final dictator of Panem. She, like many, saw the horrors of the Hunger Games. This influenced her greatly, especially once her family was murdered by the Panem government during the fire bombings of District 8. Paylor did not stand idly by after her innocent family was killed- she took action by joining the rebellion against Snow’s imperial government. She quickly rose through the ranks and became the leader, giving order to the chaotic group of rebels in District 8.

Now skip to the end of the Rebellion. President Snow has been captured and is set to be executed by the Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen. Shock sets in once Katniss assassinates the new President of the United Districts of Panem, Alma Coin. President Snow is killed in the chaos that follows. Without a leader, Panem descended momentarily into chaos until a special election was called. Ultimately, the people of Panem elected their first leader: District 8 rebel commander Cecelia Paylor. Paylor never campaigned for such a role, but she accepted the position nonetheless, stating that it was her solemn duty to serve the nation of Panem in whatever way possible.

The new President of the Republic of Panem was presented with a difficult task: govern a country that has no discernible government structure, no allies in the world, and govern it in a way that will be positive for the citizens. President Paylor managed to complete the task. Under the new President, Panem gained standing in world politics for both the better and worse. Trading began internationally under the International Free Trade Act. However, with this also came conflict. The backdrop to the Panem-IANO War was set when the IANO began to threaten Panem over its nuclear stockpiles, the last of their kind in the world. Paylor also provided the first government structure to Panem, creating a democratic government in the mold of the ancient United States government.

President Paylor’s term went downhill once key figures in her adminstration broke with her on many policies, particularly that of term limits for the Presidency and her reforms. Future vice president and then-Secretary of Communication Plutarch Heavensbee and then-Secretary of State Effie Trinket resigned from their posts, stating that Paylor was becoming a dictator like Snow. This set the stage for a tumultuous presidential election that drew two high-profile challengers: Governor of District 13 Celine Oswald, and war hero Katniss Everdeen. Oswald and Everdeen became cutthroat in their campaigns, destroying Paylor as they trekked across Panem. Ultimately, their accusations of authoritarianism and corruption took a toll on the President, landing her in last place behind Everdeen and Oswald. President Everdeen took office in that next January, performing the first presidential transition in Panem’s history.

However, Paylor decided that this wouldn’t be her final stand. The former President rebounded and has become one of President Everdeen’s fiercest (and only) critics. Many were still surprised, however, when Paylor announced her second campaign for President, intending for a rematch against her opponent. She ascended to the second place in the polls, but her plans were complicated once the Labor and People for Panem candidates for president were announced. Sensing that her poll numbers were dropping due to her status as an independent without a running mate, Paylor filed to form a new political party: the Civic Party. Running with former Speaker of the House Samuel Trenton on the Civic Party ticket, Paylor’s numbers were boosted. However, the former President has fallen to third in the polls behind Labor nominee Rick Canth after Paylor took a beating in the presidential debate.

Former President Paylor has defined history in Panem, and is attempting to make a second round. Whether she will succeed in becoming the first President to receive a second term (even though the said term will be nonconsecutive) is a mystery and can only be determined by the ballot box. Regardless, Paylor is a figure that is both dignified as well as divisive, and will influence Panem’s political scene for times to come.


PFP EXCLUSIVE: Senator Rick Canth (Labor-D7)

Senator Rick Canth makes a campaign appearance in District 1. Senator Canth is the Labor nominee for president and after a smooth debate against the other nominees, now places second in the polls only to President Everdeen herself.

Senator Rick Canth makes a campaign appearance in District 1. Senator Canth is the Labor nominee for president and after a smooth debate against the other nominees, now places second in the polls only to President Everdeen herself.

Senator Rick Canth, though a rather dashing figure, was a relatively unknown quantity in Panem politics until recently.

Hailing from District 7, Richard Canth is the junior senator of District 7, having been elected only in this past midterm election. A member of the Labor Party, he is known for his smooth-talking as well as his brilliant smile. Canth made shockwaves in the Senate, considering how he was elected Senate Labor Party Whip after only two days in the Senate. Building up a bank of political allies, he was considered a top contender to unseat Liberty Party Governor Amy Oaksmith in the upcoming election, which is timed to coordinate with the presidential election.

Now, before we reach the politics, let’s explore his history. Richard Canth was born in District 7 under the reign of dictator Coriolanus Snow III, the father of the most recent President Snow. Though not reaped in the Hunger Games, Canth saw his sister put into the games, where she was killed. This put him firmly in the opposition of Panem’s authoritarian government.

Canth entered politics as a little-known councilman for District 7’s Capitol. However, after a term as a councilman, he was elected chairman of the District 7 Capitol council. This provided him a stepping-stool in politics and propelled him to districtwide stardom. He sought the governorship, but was defeated in a close primary for the Labor Party nomination. However, when he entered the race for the Senate, he became the presumptive nominee for the Labor Party almost immediately, ultimately defeating his other opponents by a wider-than-expected margin. As Senator of District 7, Canth has been a champion of minimum wage and other progressive causes, much to the ire of Liberty Party officials that widely dominate the district.

Senator Canth became a national celebrity at the Labor National Convention this year, where one of two declared candidates was expected to be nominated: Senate Labor Party Leader Ophelie Murray of District 3, or District 1 Governor Thomas Stemp. After several ballots, however, Canth made a surprise appearance on the voting ballot, eventually gaining the traction he needed to receive the delegates needed for the presidential nomination. This shocked Labor officials, who expected one of the two declared candidates to be named the victor at the convention. However, life went on, as did the Labor Party’s campaign. The Canth/Kindred ticket was finalized, with initial polls placing the ticket in fourth (and last) place.

Canth’s presidential campaign has been a rocky one to say the least. The Labor Party scrambled after the convention to create a team to run Senator Canth’s campaign, considering how he wasn’t even running to begin with. Canth himself, however, took off onto the campaign trail, stumping in swing districts like Districts 4 and 9. While well received by Labor voters, he did not make much of a splash with independents or other voters that influence elections.

However, Canth’s time had not come yet. That time came in the presidential debate, in which the four candidates for president were given their one chance to present their message to voters. Canth stood as a resolute figure, and one of compromise. It was he who made the biggest impact, pressuring Senator Morrison and former President Paylor to stop their personal attacks on other candidates. This translated into the polls- Canth was second in the next presidential polling, taking that place from Ms. Paylor. He has remained in a steady second place ever since- an unexpected surprise that could have major implications on Panem politics should he rise any higher in the polls.

While Senator RIck Canth is only in second place, it isn’t unfeasible that he become the first male President and first Labor Party President. What we know for certain is that his chance is here- he has clearly risen the ranks in Panem politics gracefully and swiftly, and will make an impact for years to come.

PFP EXCLUSIVE: Presidential Challengers

Panem Free Press Exclusives is a series detailing influential figures throughout the Republic of Panem's history, starting with the president and her challengers.

Panem Free Press Exclusives is a series detailing influential figures throughout the Republic of Panem’s history, starting with the president and her challengers.

Over our next few articles, Panem Free Press will take a look into the lives, histories, and campaigns of the challengers to President Katniss Everdeen. This will be our first venture into a series of Panem Free Press Exclusives, where will will document many figures that have made history in Panem since the Panem Revolution. It is with great pleasure that we bring our readers an exclusive view of some of Panem’s most influential leaders, and to help Panem’s voters understand who is who in the presidential election.

We will begin our series on presidential challengers with an article on Senator Rick Canth (Labor-District 7). Senator Canth is the Labor Party presidential nominee. After Senator Canth will be former President Cecelia Paylor (Civic-District 8). Ms. Paylor is the Civic Party’s nominee. Rounding off our articles on these contenders for the Capitol is Senator Sandra Morrison (People for Panem-District 9). Senator Morrison is the People for Panem nominee, and recently made headlines for her fierce debate attacks on former President Paylor and President Everdeen.

DEBATE: President Everdeen to debate challengers in District 4

In a District that is notorious for rocking back and forth between political parties, the only scheduled debate between President Katniss Everdeen (Liberty-D12), former President Cecelia Paylor (Civic-D8), Senator Rick Canth (Labor-D7), and Senator Sandra Morrison (People for Panem-D9) took place in District 4 today. Presidential debates, by tradition, are held in a swing district and only are held once per election cycle at a time agreed upon by all candidates.

The main difference from the last presidential debate: it isn’t two candidates against one, it’s everyone for themselves. Last debate, Katniss Everdeen and then-Governor Celia Oswald tag-teamed to push down then-President Cecelia Paylor, only attacking each other when prompted. This time around, no candidates seemed to ally with others, a trait about this election cycle that was widely expected. This gave the President an advantage in the debate.

Widely discussed topics such as the Panem-IANO War, District 14, partisanship, and the Everdeen and Paylor sets of reforms were discussed along with the candidates themselves.

President Everdeen was first attacked by former President Paylor, who said that she was tearing apart the country’s poor due to the President championing reforms that would repeal the Paylor reforms while “making new laws that are not good for the people of Panem.” The President then struck back heavily in her rebuttal, stating:

What Ms. Paylor just said is vastly untrue. Unemployment in Panem, in comparison to that of Panem under the Paylor administration, has gone much lower than it was ever before. Also, the amount of Panem citizens on welfare has decreased for the first time in Panem’s history under my reforms. To say that they have had no impact is a blatant lie that Panem citizens will reject at the polls. The reason for a repeal of Ms. Paylor’s policies was simple common sense, a trait that she seems to lack at times.

After that, Senator Morrison stated that she “was always against the land grab in Europe that made District 14,” having voted against it in the Senate. She attacked the President:

President Everdeen, while another district may be good for some, I charge that your intentions in such a grasp of European lands are purely political. Just look at District 14 now! It has a pure Liberty government, from the Governor to the Lieutenant Governor, from the State Legislature to the Senators and Representatives it sent overseas to the Panem Congress. This district, which is heavy in electoral votes, has no chance of swinging any way but towards a Liberty candidate for president. It is clear, at least to me, that you created this district purely so you would have a twenty electoral vote advantage for this election, a sturdier majority in Congress, and also a win for Secretary Oswald in the vice presidential election.

The crowd was widely shocked, as was President Everdeen. In her rebuttal, she responded gracefully, saying:

While Senator Morrison thinks that I’m simply trying to win this election in a way that would seem dishonest to the people of Panem, I must state that she has misunderstood. While I did negotiate to obtain land in Europe for the establishment of a new District, I did not make the first move on this. Panem’s State Department was approached by IANO officials first, who offered the land to Panem. I entered into the negotiations, attempting to limit the land price to a minimum to not put us into debt. The “land grab,” as the Senator from District 9 calls it, was purely for the expansion of Panem’s interests. No political thought was put into it, and the development of a strong Liberty Party with the capability of sweeping the elections in District 14 was something I had not planned upon, and it was only a nice surprise to my party.

Senator Rick Canth was next to jab at the President, specifically on the Panem-IANO War:

Mrs. President, though the Panem-IANO War was ultimately successful, I must point out the lives that were lost at the expense of unprepared military. Our borders, at that time, were not at maximum security, as they currently are. Why did it take a war to maximize our security against invasion? Why did it take deaths, both military and civilians, to protect Panem? These are questions that needed to be asked, and questions that need to be answered.

The President responded:

Though there were repeated threats towards Panem by the IANO, there was no reason to maximize security as the threats appeared to be bluffs. Yes, we were surprised, but our military fought valiantly in District 4, and I must remind you that the deaths were limited in that region due to how prepared our military actually was. The deaths due to the air raids were likewise limited due to  our advance warning of the planned IANO attacks. To say that we were underprepared is an overstatement; my government did everything that we could.

Senator Morrison took the conversation elsewhere, moving on from the seemingly endless attacks on the President and onwards to the other nominees. Attacking former President Paylor, she stated:

Ms. Paylor, let’s face it: You are not the President anymore. Championing your own reforms seems to be the only positive tactic you have, considering how uneventful your presidency was. You must realize eventually that the time of the Paylor administration is over, and that Panem’s voters decided that in the last election and will easily show you that again this time around.

The former President, rather than promoting the good parts of her Presidency, chose to put the Senator in her place:

Senator Morrison, you speak of my negativity, but I feel that you are much worse about this. You have been given the opportunity to speak twice already at this debate, and you have not done much to prove to those listening and watching that you are actually suitable for the Presidency. You have only attacked me and the President, both in a very radical way. I can say for certain that such attacks will not be received well by the citizens of Panem, and that you have only proven so far that you are not a viable presidential contender.

Senator Canth responded to the former President:

Ms. Paylor, I must say that you are right about my colleague from District 9, but I must point out that what you have said is slightly hypocritical. You too have campaigned in a mostly negative way, and like you said, it is not befitting of a presidential candidate to campaign as such. I suggest that you and Senator Morrison both campaign in a way that has less to do with you and more so with the people of Panem, because right now, it seems that both of you are more obsessed with personal vendettas rather than the welfare of the citizens that will elect one of us.

Time ran out shortly after Senator Canth’s response, ending the presidential debate.

Polling after the debate was slightly surprising and showed that some candidates were rising higher.

Who do you think won the presidential debate tonight?

President Katniss Everdeen- 40 percent

Senator Rick Canth- 37 percent

Former President Cecelia Paylor- 15 percent

Senator Sandra Morrison- 8 percent

Who do you plan to vote for in the upcoming presidential election?

President Katniss Everdeen- 62 percent

Senator Rick Canth- 24 percent

Former President Cecelia Paylor- 9 percent

Senator Sandra Morrison-5 percent

The presidential poll was shocking after the debate, with former President Cecelia Paylor dropping from a 20-point lead over Senator Morrison, who was her nearest competitor in the last PFP poll, to single digits for the first time.. Senator Canth picked up the slack, taking the second place position after his smooth debate responses. Senator Morrison, who was originally placing third in most polls, now places in last place after her vicious attacks on the President and Paylor. The President only gained after what was seen as a debate win by most of the country, and as such gained in the polls by about eight points.

REAL WORLD: Philip Seymour Hoffman

In our first press release out of our imagined world of Panem, Panem Free Press would like to remember Philip Seymour Hoffman’s family as they grieve after his loss. Mr. Hoffman, best known in Hunger Games circles as the actor who played Plutarch Heavensbee, the rebellious gamemaker who succeeded Seneca Crane, passed on today at the age of 46.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in Fairport, New York, in 1967. Hoffman’s involvement in theatre started when he attended the 1984 theatre school at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. He graduated from Tisch School of the Arts in 1989, earning a BFA in drama. Hoffman played many roles throughout his life, and among those lie Capote, for which he earned the Academy Award for Best Actor, The Master, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and of course, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. At the time of his passing, Mr. Hoffman was filming both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two.

Mr. Hoffman left a great impact on not only the Hunger Games community, but also that of the fine arts. His contributions to fine arts will not be forgotten, and Mr. Hoffman will certainly be missed.

BIO: District 14 Governor Rosalie Descoteaux


Rosalie Descoteaux was just a typical citizen of the nation of France. Formerly serving as the mayor of Lille in northern France, she resigned after France, along with other IANO member states, declared war on the nation of Panem. She stated that it was a “gross violation of international treaties, many of which the nation of France has abided by for centuries.” Her resignation sparked a political upheaval in France, where she was expected to mount a run for President this next year. With her resignation went many people’s respect for France’s actions, and so she began a mini revolution, spurring support for Panem against the wishes of France.

Rosalie Dubois was born in La Madeleine, a suburb of Lille. She came from the typical French family, but became known for her genius during her school years. With good grades and excellent extracurriculars, she headed off to the University of Paris, where she studied international affairs as well as pre-law. While at university, she met her future husband, Aurélien Descoteaux. She entered law school after her marriage to Aurélien. She exited at the top of her class, widely esteemed by her colleagues and by the faculty.

Governor Descoteaux made a name for herself in law afterwards. She traveled multiple times to Paris to present cases before both the Court of Cassation, the Council of State, and the most recent version of the High Court, where she made the case for President Léonard Beaulieu’s impeachment. The President was ultimately removed from office and imprisoned on charges of perjury.

After her successes in law, she quietly returned home to her residence in Lille. After successes in local law, she sought the mayoralty of Lille, defeating the incumbent mayor, Honoré Chauvelier, by a decent margin. She was reelected four years later to another term, but resigned after three years.

And now, we reach the more recent part of history. After her resignation, Descoteaux remained incognito for several months. Knowing that she could be blamed for the dissent in France and targeted by the French government, she went into hiding until after the war was clearly ended. She was invited by President of Panem Katniss Everdeen to the Glasgow Accords, where the peace treaty was signed, and was given the highest award any citizen of another country could ever receive from the Panem government for her simple resignation. Descoteaux also served as an envoy between Panem and France to negotiate the land deal that brought District 14 into existence. With such roots in the land that comprises District 14 today, it was an easy choice to pick who would win the gubernatorial election. Campaigning on what she had done and the bright future of what was to come for District 14, former Mayor of Lille, France Rosalie Descoteaux was elected the first Governor of District 14 and became the first former citizen of another country to govern a district. And who knows, maybe she could be the first foreign-born president of Panem some day! We’ll just have to sit back and watch.

D14 ELECTIONS: Results announced in blanket primary

The results are in from District 14, where a gubernatorial election, lieutenant gubernatorial election, and state legislature elections were held today. The new district employed a new electoral system: the blanket primary. In this system, no formal nominees are selected by any party. All announced and registered candidates are put onto the ballot, each vying to reach the 50% majority mark. If no candidate receives the majority, the top two highest vote-getters will be put into a primary to be held a week from today.

The results of the gubernatorial election are as follows:

Rosalie Descoteaux (Liberty Party) – 51 percent

Burke Denis (Civic Party) – 34 percent

Anika Houtman (People for Panem) – 9 percent

Jocelin Lapointe (Labor) – 6 percent

And so, the Liberty Party wins the governor’s mansion without having to proceed to a runoff election. The election results clearly point to the successes of the newly founded Civic Party as well as the popular reigning Liberty Party. It also shows that the Labor Party is at a very low point, as is People for Panem.

The results of the Lieutenant Governor’s election are as follows:

Raphaël Maçon (Liberty Party) – 53 percent

Myriam Fortier (Labor Party) – 22 percent

Valentine Cartier (Civic Party) – 20 percent

Victor Sartre (People for Panem) – 5 percent

And yet another win for the Liberty Party that will not require a runoff. This is pointing towards a Liberty sweep of the new district’s offices. However, to much surprise, Labor has made a large comeback, with Labor nominee Myriam Fortier garning a second place win with 22 percent. This put the Civic Party nominee, Valentine Cartier, in third with the People for Panem nominee, Victor Sartre, in last place. This is the second consecutive election tonight with poor showings for the People for Panem party.

The results of the District Legislature are as follows:

Out of thirty Senate districts for the District Senate:

The Liberty Party has won twenty districts.

The Labor Party has won five districts.

People for Panem has won two districts.

The Civic Party has won three districts.

Out of fifty districts for the District House:

The Liberty Party has won thirty-four districts.

The Civic Party has won seven districts.

The Labor Party has won five districts.

People for Panem has won four districts.

The results of the district legislature officially make District 14 a LIBERTY LOCK in this election, possibly for the presidential election. This could be huge for the election, as D14 contains the largest amount of electoral votes- twenty.

The result of the Panem House of Representatives elections for District 14’s representatives:

Out of eighteen congressional districts:

The Liberty Party has won nine congressional districts.

The Civic Party has won five congressional districts.

The Labor Party has won two congressional districts.

People for Panem has won two congressional districts.

With the election of a Liberty Party government, it is certain that both senators appointed to serve District 14 until the next midterm will both be Liberty Party members as well. This brings Liberty to seventeen seats in the Senate, a clear majority and exactly the much-wanted 2/3 majority mark at seventeen seats. This allows the Liberty Party to quash filibusters as well as dominate the Senate should they choose to do so. The results of the House elections bring Liberty to a clear majority of eighty-four seats in the House. However, this is just short of the House’s 2/3 majority mark of ninety-two seats. This will prohibit any constitutional amendments from being passed without bipartisan compromise, as amendments require both houses of Congress to pass the amendment with 2/3 majority to send it to the Districts for ratification.