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Arnold, Cocco enter runoff election


As students gathered in the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater on Friday to hear the results of the student body election, Student Government Supervisor of Elections Sayf Hassouneh announced a runoff between two candidates for student body president.

After three weeks of campaigning and a week of voting, candidates Brandi Arnold and Jean Cocco will continue to campaign for the position of student body president.

Cocco, who is campaigning with vice presidential candidate Rhondel Whyte, received the most votes in the election with 2,369 votes, or 48 percent of the 4,928 students who voted. Cocco said he was just shy of the 51 percent majority needed to win the election and avoid a runoff election, but plans to “hit the ground running.”

“We were almost there,” he said. “We’re fired up to go back out there, we have work to do.”

Arnold, who is campaigning with vice presidential candidate Shaheen Nouri, received 1,945 votes, or 39 percent of the student vote. Arnold said she is prepared for the runoff election and hopes to get more students involved.

“We’re ready to go back out to campaign and win the hearts of the student body,” she said.

Arnold said she plans on looking at her campaign’s marketing efforts to get more students to vote.

“We believe in our platform and know others won’t have a problem in believing in it either,” she said.

Danish Hasan, the third candidate running for student body president, who had to miss the announcements in the Amphitheater due to class, came in third place with 614 votes. Hasan and his running mate for vice president, Harsh Patil, said campaigning was a “great experience.”

“Cocco and Brandi ran an excellent campaign,” he said. “Considering all the experience they have and we were still able to get 12 percent of the vote, that’s amazing.”

Voting for the runoff election will begin Tuesday at 8 a.m. and close Wednesday at 8 p.m.. The ballot will also include a runoff between Luis Monsalve and Roshard Williams for the 25th College of Arts and Sciences seat in the SG Senate.

“In the future, with whoever wins, the school is in good hands,” Hasan said.

A referendum to renew the Student Green Energy Fee of $1 per credit hour for the next three years was also on the ballot and was approved with 3,342 votes.