After controversy, Harding wins runoff
Michael Harding and Craig Premjee will represent the UH student body in the 2011-2012 year as Student Government president and vice president.
The run-off election between Harding and Michael McHugh ended Thursday night with Harding receiving 64 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 1,040 votes.
“I am humbled, grateful, and honored by the opportunity to serve and represent the University of Houston student body. I look forward to working with a variety of students, faculty and administrators,” Harding said. “I would like to thank everyone who supported myself, Craig Premjee and the REDvolution Party.”
Harding’s platform included improvements to parking, campus safety, dining facilities and controlled tuition and book prices.
“We are taking office during a critical time for the University of Houston, and I am confident that the individuals elected will work hard for the campus while maintaining our well-deserved Tier One status,” Harding said.
During the run-off election his opponent, Michael McHugh, received 36 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 586 votes.
“It was a great experience. I learned a lot about my school and myself. It was a great working experience,” McHugh said. “For anyone who wants a career in politics this would be an insightful experience into what its like.”
During the main election McHugh received 30.5 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 1,129 votes, which made him eligible for the run-off.
“I have no regrets. While there are things I would have done differently, if I had not made these mistakes I would not have learned from them or my experiences,” McHugh said. “I never cheated, and I was honest the whole time.”
Students also voted at last week’s run-off election for the Senator At Large Seat #2 between Brandon Balwant and Stephen Cronin.
In the original election, 1.6 percentage points separated Cronin and Balwant. Neither candidate had the required 51 percent, resulting in the run-off.
Cronin, the run-off majority winner, received 55.6 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 845 votes.
“The run-off election was a fantastic experience. I was very happy about my success in the first election, which provided me with more energy to excel during the runoff,” Cronin said. “I believe most of my support came from IFC council fraternities on campus, I currently hold the position of IFC President, as well as my own fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Utilizing one’s popularity in UH’s Greek community, along with the support of my REDvolution party, is what, in my opinion, helped me win this race.”
In the run-off Balwant received 676 votes, 44.4 percent.
“As for the run-off election, I can’t say I am pleased as for the way everything happened. I really like Harding, Premjee, and Cronin, but I know for a fact that Harding and Premjee broke the rules not only with the IPhone voting incident, but also with the parking petition that The Daily Cougar had received numerous complaints about,” Balwant said. “I am disappointed that Michael McHugh and myself lost the run-offs, but I wish the new administration good luck in the next year.”