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Crimson White Online

February 17, 2006

2 in, 1 out in race for SGA pres

Two new candidates enter race as application deadline passes


By Mike Faulk, Student Life Editor


Two more students have tossed their hats into the race for SGA president, and one has dropped from the race, bringing the total number of contenders to five after Wednesday's deadline to qualify.

Shannon Barge, a member of student group Fearless Achievers Mastering Excellence and Corbin Martin, former president of the no longer existing Student Veteran Association, entered the race this week.

Michael Ingram, the co-chairman of the SGA campus safety committee, dropped from the presidential race Wednesday, he said.

The other presidential candidates are Justice Smyth, SGA vice president of student affairs; Adam Rankin, a two-term SGA Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration SGA senator and Robert Steiner, secretary of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society.

Ingram said he knew it would be hard to win with three other candidates in the race. When two more entered, he decided to pull his bid.

"With the system the way that it is right now, I think the only chance for an independent candidate to win is running one on one [against the Machine candidate]," Ingram said, referring to the select coalition of traditionally white fraternities and sororities designed to influence campus politics.

Ingram said he expects to see a Machine victory in this year's election because there are so many independent candidates.

"I'd say it's next to impossible for an independent candidate to win," Ingram said.

All of the presidential candidates said their campaigns had no affiliation with or political support from the Machine.

Smyth, a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the only greek running for president, said he has "not been contacted by anyone directly" from the Machine.

"I don't think being in a fraternity necessarily makes me a Machine candidate," Smyth said.

He said he expected students to vote for candidates based on the issues that come up in the election and not draw lines between independents and greeks.

Ingram said he now plans to play a role in this year's election by helping to rally support for a proposed amendment to the SGA Constitution that will appear on the ballot that would create a new runoff system for SGA elections requiring candidates to get a majority of the vote instead of a plurality.

Candidates for other executive offices are:

� For executive vice president, Daniel Sullivan will face Jessica Sanders.

� For vice president of student affairs, Brittany Loper will face Bria Knapp.

� For vice president of financial affairs, Chris Lambert is running unopposed.

� For vice president of academic affairs, Cameron Smith will face Michael Noyes.

� For vice president of external affairs, Ashley Hays is running unopposed.

� For executive secretary, Phillips Thomas will face Tim Neunzig.

Elections will be Saturday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7-8, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.




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