‘FF’ ticket claims runoff

An elated Frank Harrison and Faran Abbasi were hoisted onto the shoulders of supporters outside the Phyllis P. Marshall Center after winning the 2006 student body presidential election Wednesday evening.

In front of an entourage of more than 60 SG supporters, Director of the Election Rules Commission Cindy Lorenzo announced Harrison and Abbasi as USF’s next student body president and vice president, respectively.

Harrison and Abassi received 1,727 votes, while Ben Sens and running mate Ernest “E.J.” Joe fell about 200 votes short with only 1,528 votes.

“This just shows that hard work pays off,” Abbasi said. “I put my whole life on hold for this; we put so much into this, and it feels so good to know that so many people supported us.”

In his victory speech, Abbasi took time to thank supporters and campaigners, including student body President Maxon Victor and his Vice President Sameer Ahmed.

“I would not have done this without Sameer and Maxon; they pushed me to do this, and I did it,” Abbasi said.

The tickets entered into the runoff after receiving a majority of the votes in last week’s election, which was controversial for both tickets due to the Harrison ticket’s point accumulation and the resignation of Andrew Kirkland, former director of the ERC.

“It’s weird because it feels like I’m looking in a mirror from the past,” Ahmed said. “The energy that runs through you after you find out you’ve won – it’s just so exciting.”

Although the Sens/Joe ticket lost the election, Sens said he was still happy with how his campaign staff handled itself.

“I’m very proud of the way E.J. and I ran our campaign,” Sens said.

Both tickets said they were impressed by the voter turnout for this runoff election.

“The voter turnout was amazing, and it appeared to be a very close election,” Sens said.

Harrison said that even though there will be some celebration for the next few days, both he and Abbasi plan to begin working as soon as possible.

“First, what we really want to do is lay our goals out for the year,” Harrison said. “A lot of people would just come into office next year and not have any clear goals set out; we plan to do just the opposite.”

The election cycle is still in question pending the results of an SG Supreme Court trial. The trial is in regard to accusations that the ERC showed bias in favor of the Harrison/Abbasi ticket. If the Court decides to recall the election, all results would be void and both senatorial and presidential candidates would have to campaign anew.