SGA presidential election comes down to a runoff, two candidates remain

By Morgan Givens
Staff writer 

For those anxious to see who will be at the helm of SGA for the University of West Florida next school year, there is a little more waiting to do. After two days of students casting their votes, the SGA presidential election will be decided in a runoff election next week.

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Students and candidates for SGA offices gathered in the Great Hall in the University Commons on Wednesday night to hear the results. At 9 p.m., numerous offices were announced to either joy from some, and disappointment by others. The biggest announcement of the night was that the two candidates for president remaining are Léonie Dupuis and Brandon Malone, and the winner will be named next Tuesday, April 10, after the runoff election.

The runoff election is due to a statute ruled by the SGA supreme court stating that if no one candidate gets 50 percent plus one votes, then another election is held.

With the news of the runoff election, it’s back to business for both candidates. Brandon Malone and his running mate Zenani Johnson’s plan is simple: campaign harder.

“When you run a marathon, the hardest part is the finish,” Malone said. “And that’s how I see this runoff election, as sort of a mental game.”

Johnson expressed how proud she was of the campaign during the election season, especially for others who were elected into smaller SGA offices that endorsed her and Malone.

“A lot of work has been put into this run,” Johnson said. “And I couldn’t be prouder of our team and it’s very well deserved. They helped us be better candidates especially through the high times and low times.”

On the other side of the ticket is Léonie Dupuis and Rhea Azamar. The ‘Your UWF’ campaign is still running strong, and there are no plans to stop until the race is over.

“There were three very qualified candidates this year,” Dupuis said. “And when we learned of the runoff, we knew that there was not a majority vote and that we still get to run our race.”

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Azamar, who let out a sigh of relief hearing her and her partners named being called as one of the last two standing, said it time to go back to the drawing board.

“It’s crazy,” Azamar said. “But we’re going to regroup, reorganize and strategize and now seeing the numbers, we’re going to work even harder.”

The presidential candidate who did not receive enough votes to compete in the runoff was Abigail Megginson and her running mate Nathan Bohler. Megginson was met by her team, other candidates and friends with hugs of support of her campaign which she said she was very proud of.

“I ran a clean race, which is something I’m most proud of,” Megginson said. “I was really confident in the campaign we started, and in the end,  it was really close. I think both candidates will do a great job and I’m looking forward to the future of SGA and still be involved on campus.”

The runoff election to decide SGA President will be held 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 10 with the results to be announced at 9 p.m. To revisit the full Léonie/Rhea and Malone/Johnson campaign platforms and other information can be viewed on their website www.youruwf.com and www.malonejohnson18.com

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