After more than three weeks of campaigning and two separate votes, the Student Government executive alliance election is headed for a runoff.
Colton Becker and Mehraz Rahman totaled 49.24 percent of the vote on Thursday, while Guneez Ibrahim and Hannah McMorris received 46.1 percent of the vote. Candidates must receive the majority of the vote to be elected. The runoff election starts 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 21 and runs to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 22, and the Election Supervisory Board has prohibited all campaigning over spring break.
This year’s SG election has been highly contested after both campaigns faced rumors and backlash in the weeks surrounding the first election on March 1. Ibrahim and McMorris received opposition for tweets that were perceived by some to be anti-white and anti-Greek, while Becker and Rahman dealt with sexual harassment allegations.
Becker and Rahman’s initial victory with 54 percent of the vote was ruled invalid on Tuesday. The Dean of Students ordered a new executive alliance election after the SG Supreme Court declared the temporary bar from campaigning placed on the
Ibrahim-McMorris team unconstitutional during the original campaigning period. Ibrahim and McMorris received 30 percent of the votes in the first election.
“I really didn’t know what was going to happen,” ESB Chair Jennifer Valdez said regarding Thursday’s announcement. “We did have a higher (voting) turnout than we did last time and people are really passionate about this election. We had some complaints, but they were more of people expressing their opposition to the way certain things were handled. Those complaints were dismissed.”
Valdez emphasized the hold on all campaigning over spring break, and said everyone needed to take care of themselves and focus on mental health. Valdez said campaigning will be allowed beginning Monday, March 19 at 12:01 a.m. and said the ESB will be very strict on that.
Becker and Rahman said they will take the spring break to relax and enjoy themselves.
“I’m going home and then taking a trip with some friends, so it’ll keep my mind off of this election,” said Rahman, a marketing and Plan II senior. “It’s easy to talk about self-care, but it’s hard to practice it.”
Rahman said it is important for their campaign team to unwind over spring break because of the hectic campaign season.
“Unfortunately, I think there’s a toxic climate of this campaign,” said Becker, a nutrition senior Becker. “You can practice self-care and things like that, but sometimes it’s hard to get out of that negativity. I know there’s been a lot of harassment, but we have a very supportive team, which is good.”
McMorris said she was expecting a runoff and is ready to finish the race.
“We’re just going to rest (over spring break), refresh and revive — get our skincare routine back in order,” said McMorris, a journalism and African and African diaspora studies junior. “When we come back, we’ll fire it up on Monday.”
Ibrahim, however, said she went into the re-election without any expectations.
“I’m happy we’re in a runoff,” said Ibrahim, sociology and design senior. “I think it’s incredible that we went up 16 (percentage) points in less than a week. I’m more motivated now than ever before, so we’re ready.”