Following a tight race in which the most popular candidates were separated by a mere 72 votes, only two of the five tickets campaigning for student body president will face off again next week in a run-off election.
Presidential candidate Justin Hall and running mate LaNard Taylor received 1,344 votes, while Gregory “Butters” Morgan and Thomas King placed second with 1,272. Student Government statutes state that a ticket must receive at least 51 percent of the vote to win. Hall-Taylor received 26 percent of the vote and Morgan-King received 25 percent.
Students can vote for either of the two remaining tickets at usf.edu/vote next Tuesday and Wednesday. The winner will be announced Wednesday night. A run-off election debate is tentatively scheduled for March 3 at 3 p.m.
Taylor said he was thankful to see all of his and Hall’s hard work and dedication come to fruition.
“All I can say is wow,” he said. “We’re not going to stop campaigning, we’re back to square one. It’s a whole new election.”
Hall said that being in the run-off election “feels good,” but a lot of hard work and less sleep lies ahead.
“We’re really appreciative of all those who voted for us,” he said. “It’s another week. We’re going to hit it bad.”
Morgan said he and King are excited for the run-off and that the campaigning experience has been tough, tiring and exciting.
“There are a lot more sleepless nights ahead,” he said. “We’re thankful for our supporters and the other candidates for all their hard work.”
King said he’s glad he and Morgan campaigned with “honesty, integrity and hard work.”
“The students will decide,” he said. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to have the possibility to be the next student body president.”
A total of 5,165 students voted Tuesday and Wednesday in the student body presidential election. In the 2007 election, about 3,500 votes were cast, supervisor of elections Cassandra Hall said.