There is less than a week left for students interested in running this year for student body president and vice president elections to declare their candidacy. Yet, David Armstrong, business manager for Student Government, said this is “probably the slowest election year” USF has had.
Until Tuesday afternoon, incumbents Mike Griffin and Dave Mincberg were the only ticket to submit completed paperwork. But juniors Joe Niernberg and Lakia Stewart filed their paperwork and declared their candidacy Tuesday.
“We made the decision Sunday night, but my main goal was trying to get her on board with me,” Niernberg said.
Niernberg attended the last interest meeting on Feb. 18 but was not sure at the time whether he would run.
Niernberg said he decided on Stewart because he has known her for a while, and she has some good ideas that would help with the campaign.
“We talked for over four hours about all different issues and then made a final decision,” Niernberg said.
Senior John P. Johnson said Tuesday that he is also still interested in running for student body president. Johnson, like Niernberg, also attended the interest meeting.
“At this present time, I still do not have a running mate, but I will have one by the deadline,” Johnson said.
The deadline for interested candidates is next Tuesday. Armstrong said students who wish to campaign for office need to receive the proper paperwork and fill out the correct forms before the deadline. Students can pick up the paperwork in the SG office, Armstrong said.
Each candidate gets a packet that says what the candidates can do. All the candidates are required to follow the election rules. Some restrictions include no chalking on the Phyllis P. Marshall center ramps and not discussing their campaigns while working at an on-campus job.
Armstrong said he wasn’t sure why this year’s ticket has decreased from the past.
“Two year’s ago, we had about six candidates. Last year, I believe three,” he said. “I’m not sure if it is because people think that Mike and Dave can’t be beat or if it is just a reduce in interest.”Griffin said Mincberg and himself will be running the same campaign no matter how many tickets there are and will welcome any opposition.
“It’s all part of the democratic process. We have the same mentality and campaign if we run against no one or 10 people,” Griffin said. “But we are focusing on our campaign.”
Griffin said he has a lot of respect for both Johnson and Niernberg, but that they can’t get wrapped up in each other’s campaigns.
“As long as we have a clean election, everyone wins,” he said. ” I have no doubt that we will reach that goal either.”
Armstrong said running for office is a chance for students to step up and present an opposing view and hopes to see more interested.
“It is a shame that more people aren’t more interested in running,” Armstrong said.
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