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Bennett wins ASUW presidency

Sonia McBride // Published May 16, 2008 in The Daily of the University of Washington
Anttimo Bennett won the ASUW presidency last night. The crowd broke into a chant of “Timo! Timo! Timo!” upon hearing his name, called at 7 p.m. by the Elections Administration Committee.

Bennett won with 52.4 percent, followed closely by Timothy Mensing with 47.6 percent of the vote. The highest write-in for each position was “campus squirrels,” averaging 0.3 percent.

The instant runoff voting system partially explains the close vote. Voters were able to rank candidates, which possibly allowed for a voter’s second or third choice to count in a close race.

“I can’t even believe it,” Bennett said. “It’s a weight off my shoulders, but it feels good. Especially because I feel like I have my whole community behind me and so I’m just really excited about this opportunity to serve UW students. I’m ready to get to work for next year.”

The results for vice president were also very close; Dolly Nguyen won with 51.5 percent, and PJ LaFemina followed close behind with 48.5 percent.

“I am totally overwhelmed,” Nguyen said. “This is such an awesome opportunity. I am so excited. I just want to thank the students.”

Gerald Corporal won the director of community relations position, but could not be reached for comment, as he was immediately hoisted into the air and paraded around the second floor lounge amid a group of excited students. The results were very close: Corporal had 50.1 percent of the vote, while Lauren Cutting followed close behind with 49.9 percent.

Although running as an independent was a potentially risky choice, it did not hurt Sabrina Fields’ campaign, as she won the director of diversity efforts position, with 55.6 percent of the vote.

“I don’t know what to think,” Fields said. “But I’m glad that students at the UW vote accordingly and are smart. It says a lot. I’m so excited, I don’t know what to say.”

Junior Mike Snowden was named director of programming.

“Ecstatic: that’s the only words I can really describe right now,” Snowden said after winning. “Energy. Lightning. It’s great. It’s great.”

The results for the director of operations position were also extremely close: Luke O’Bannan won with 50.1 percent versus Andrew Shubin’s 49.3 percent.

“It will be great to work with the people who are there, but with everyone who isn’t, I feel for them and I am going to work with them too, hopefully,” said Natlie Bankson, who was named director of organization relations.

The elections were very successful, said Taylor Newbold, the Elections Administration Committee chair. He was proud of the candidate and voter turnout. This year, there were 4,051 ballots cast, compared to 1,800 ballots from last year.

Also, a survey of voters regarding a restaurant with a liquor license, or a pub in the HUB, was supported by 67.8 percent of students who answered the question.