At noon today, candidates gathered at the flagpole outside of the Memorial Union to hear the final ballot count for the ASUCD Winter election as it was announced.
Jack Zwald of LEAD and his running mate Previn Witana secured their positions as ASUCD president and vice president for the coming term.
Witana, currently an ASUCD senator, commented that it had been a surprisingly close race.
“These last couple of days have been crunch time for campaigning,” he said. “We figured anything could happen [come election time] and we ended up winning by a very narrow margin, only like 100 votes. I’m just relieved now, and as soon as we celebrate, we’re ready to get to work.”
In the first round of ballot-casting, Zwald and Witana received 1,447 votes. Running under JAM, Sergio Blanco and Vishakha Patel received 1,336 votes. In the following round, the LEAD and JAM executive tickets had 1,678 and 1,561 votes respectively, both just shy of the 1,727-vote threshold.
Blanco also acknowledged it as a close race, though expressed concern over student representation in ASUCD.
“I’m fine that I lost,” he said. “I have no personal issue with how the election turned out. I just want to ensure that all students get representation by [their new president and vice president].”
For the senate, winners were independent Adam Thongsavat, Selisa Romero and Alison Tanner of JAM, and Ozzy Arce, Osahon Ekhator and Liz Walz of LEAD.
Thongsavat reflected on what he felt was a campaign well run.
“We worked so hard,” he said. “And it feels amazing to win. We really tried to invigorate voters because we’re fed up with the lack of results in student government. [Now that I’m elected], I’m not going to advocate for any one group. I’m going to advocate for one campus.”
Polls closed at 8 a.m. today with a total of 3,907 confirmed voters who cast their ballots in the election.
KYLE SPORLEDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.