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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Student Government

SGA announces run-off election

The SGA will hold a run-off election to determine the winner of several positions — including the presidential election.

Michael McHugh and Michael Harding will be the two candidates squaring off in the run-off, which begins Monday and ends Thursday.

Polls closed Thursday with 3,696 votes cast. Harding won the popular vote, earning 44 percent with 1638 votes total; McHugh earned 31 percent (1129 votes) while Jared Gogets received 25 percent (929 votes). Fifty-one percent is needed for an outright win.

“I’ve had a great time this week,” Harding said. “My running mate Craig Premjee and I love talking to students and hearing what they think. I feel blessed that I have another opportunity with the run-offs to get out there and hear a variety of opinions.”

Harding has encountered a lot of students concerned with the budget cuts.

“The budget cuts are going to occur, and we need a plan of attack and then decide which programs are really important that we need to stand by as students,” Harding said.

Harding’s opponent McHugh was also hard at work, meeting with students from every college.

“I woke up everyday at 6 a.m., ate my breakfast, then went to work,” McHugh said. “I talked to students one-on-one, letting them know what my ideas were about until midnight — and then did it all over again the next day.”

For this election, McHugh was able to build a strong team of supporters and volunteers who went out around campus every day and helped get his ideas out to the students.

“I have a really strong team of faithful supporters that have really helped me earn this opportunity to participate in the run-off elections,” McHugh said.

A run-off for At-large Senator Seat 2 will occur between Brandon Balwant and Stephen Cronin, who participated in one of the closest races in recent years — being separated by less than 1 percent.

These elections are the first since SGA revised its election code. The code has been reworded in order to clarify which campaign practices were allowed and which were prohibited. The rewording clarified a procedure that allowed complaints to be filed with the election commission.

“The elections went smoothly,” said Briann Gallien, election commissioner. “We had a few complaints, but that happens every year.”

All official complaints filed are investigated and then ruled upon. The SGA elections committee has yet to release the documents, as most are still pending.

The Daily Cougar will keep you updated as information is released.

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