This year’s ASUCD winter elections have panned out a little differently than in previous years.
BOLD candidates Adam Thongsavat, senior history major, and Bree Rombi, junior communication and Spanish double major, make up the only pair running for executive office.
“It shows two things: They are such respected people that no one wanted to run against them and no one had a problem with them,” said Darwin Moosavi, junior environmental policy analysis and planning major and co-founder of the BOLD party.
However, Moosavi did say that he was a little disappointed that they were running unopposed because people may use that to discredit their candidacy.
“They both fit the roles they are assigned to take very well. Bree is very good at managing the table and being a strong voice, as well as getting everyone’s respect at the table,” said Moosavi. “Adam is very passionate, has a strong presence in meetings and [is good at] persuading people. Those are strong characteristics that make them good candidates.”
Jack Zwald, current ASUCD president, LEAD member and senior international relations major, said he ran in a three-way race, so there was more pressure to research, have specific platforms and a clear time line of when and how he was going to get things done. The same pressure is not on these candidates, so Zwald hopes that as the election goes on their platforms will become more specific.
“Bree Rombi has been a very good senator and a very good pro tem. In terms of being vice president, I think she is very qualified and knows the internal workings of the association very well,” said Zwald. “Adam Thongsavat has accomplished some things as a senator… he has the potential to be a good president and I think he and I will partner very well in the next few weeks, and we can get him up to speed.”
Rombi, vice presidential candidate, said it was not their intention to run unopposed, and they are campaigning as they would if they had opposition. Rombi also said that she has desired to run for office since her first year at UC Davis.
Rombi said that she loved her time as a senator, so running for vice president was the next step – it would allow her to continue to work with senate.
“Being able to work with senate and work with students is my passion,” Rombi said.
While Rombi has always wanted to run for executive office, Thongsavat’s decision was more difficult.
“It has been a tough decision to run because the commitment level is huge, but to actually serve is a no brainer,” Thongsavat said.
During their terms as senators, Thongsavat and Rombi worked on projects such as Picnic Day expansion, noise ordinance reform, Renter’s Rights Committee, composting in the Memorial Union and The Pantry.
When in office, they plan to work toward creating more student jobs, restoring Picnic Day, creating an action plan to achieve the UC-wide sustainability movement, lobbying the state against fee increases, working to make AggieTV a premiere student-run college broadcast station and creating a safer campus environment.
Rudy Ornelas, director of ASUCD legislation and policy, and Osahon Ekhator, ASUCD senator, also took out petitions to run for executive office. However, they decided to step away from ASUCD instead.
“The association seems to be headed in a different direction than we pushed it in, so it is a new era for the association,” Ornelas said.
Ornelas said at this point in his academic career, he needs to focus on outside internships and law school.
“It was more of a personal decision and reevaluating what I need for myself. I think my running mate Osahon did the same thing. His year on the senate has taken stress on his personal life as well, so it is time for us to focus more on these things,” he said.
JASPREET BAHIA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.