After three weeks of campaigning, the race for student body president narrowed down to two candidates Thursday – Brian Goff and Sarah Pollei.
The polls, which closed Thursday at 8 p.m., showed 7,231 student votes from the Tampa campus and an additional 470 from other USF campuses on the next “Our Shirt” design. The 7,721 total voters beat the record set last year by 3,621 votes, Supervisor of Elections James Bodden said.
Goff received 29 percent of the vote, Pollei received 26 percent, Christina Hughes received 18 percent, Christopher Cano received 11 percent, Omar Rodriguez received 10 percent and Alan Ethington received 6 percent. To win, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote.
Of the six presidential hopefuls, Goff and Pollei will compete in a runoff election, with voting beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday and ending at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Results will be announced before Movies on the Lawn on Wednesday.
Goff, a junior majoring in biochemistry, and his running mate George Papadeas, a junior majoring in business and marketing, said they were honored to enter the last leg of the election and said they predicted a runoff due to the number of tickets on the ballot.
“We really felt that Sarah and Antonio (Morales, Pollei’s running mate,) really worked hard and we knew they had given us a run for our money,” Goff said. “So we weren’t sure where we would place, first or second.”
Goff said he has begun reaching out to former candidates to seek endorsements for his campaign. After meeting with Rodriguez on Saturday, Goff posted on his personal Facebook page that Rodriguez endorsed his campain.
Pollei, a junior majoring in biology, said she was “overwhelmed,” but expected the two campaigns to come out on top.
“I (thought) it might be between Goff and I, just because we are the only ones that I’ve seen campaigning constantly throughout,” she said.
– Additional reporting by Ricardo Angulo