Phil Robinson took 59 percent of the vote to become Student Association president after a run-off election that attracted more voters than the regular election. Robinson lost last week’s election by 9 votes, but defeated junior Josh Singer in the run-off. It drew 2,485 voters, 329 more than last week.
Robinson, a junior, jumped in the air and hugged his campaign staff at the announcement of his victory Thursday at midnight. Singer was motionless as he heard the news.
“I’m speechless,” Robinson said. “Everyone believed in me, and I didn’t let them down.”
Singer, also a junior, missed getting 40 percent of the vote – the amount needed to prevent a run-off – by one vote in the first election.
The Joint Elections Committee threw out one Singer vote and refused to count another controversial Singer vote. The Student Court upheld the later decision last week.
“I’m really excited,” Robinson said. “To be standing at the same spot as last week but on the other end of the results is amazing.”
Singer supporters were visibly distraught when they heard the news, and many broke into tears.
“We did the best we possibly could have and fought hard to play by the rules,” Singer said. “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”
Eight newly elected senators and Executive Vice President-elect Eric Daleo, who ran unopposed, ran under Singer’s “Working for Us” slate.
Daleo said he looks forward to working with Robinson.
“I’m really looking forward to it; we’re going to get a lot of stuff done,” he said. “I think it will be fine. He’s a good guy, and I look forward to working with him.”
The third presidential candidate, sophomore Dani Greenspan, sided with Robinson for the run-off election and celebrated with him after he heard the news. Greenspan took 17 percent of the vote in the regular election.
“I think Phil has a great relationship with students,” Greenspan said. “My supporters and the GW community came out for Robinson.”
Robinson said he was confident turnout would be high for the run-off.
“I think a lot of students voted the second time because one vote does make a difference,” Robinson said. “Students realized that their indifference costs Josh or I the election.”
He said he thought some of Singer’s signs backfired during the run-off.
“I think Singer’s signs backfired in a negative way. Some students took his ‘No, I’m with Singer’ signs as negative campaigning,” Robinson said, referring to a play on Robinson’s “I’m With Phil” slogan.
Sophomore Adam Greenman, who ran under the “Working for Us” slate, said the Senate will work with Robinson.
“We’re looking forward to working with Phil,” Greenman said. “We’re going to keep the gridlock out of the Senate.”
Robinson spoke confidently about next year’s Senate and said he is not worried about Singer’s “Working for Us” slate holding up progress.
“Though we all have different ideas, we all have to remember that getting things done for students is bigger than all of us, and I don’t want to be sitting in gridlock,” Robinson said. “I’m looking forward to a productive year.”
Robinson received a fourth campaign violation Friday, after he won the election. Eight violation points are required to be thrown off the ballot, and no more are pending.
Robinson will receive a judicial review for certification Friday.
Singer was announced the winner of last week’s regular election with 40.009 percent of the regular vote. But an absentee ballot was taken away from Singer’s total last week because it was counted twice, causing him to fall under the 40 percent needed to win with no run-off.
Singer filed a protest last week, along with graduate student Francisco Semiao, calling for the JEC to count Semiao’s vote. Semiao was away from school last week and e-mailed his vote to the JEC e-mail.
The Student Court upheld the JEC decision to not count the ballot because the only students eligible to vote through e-mail were students studying abroad or on official leave.
“I still believe in that absentee ballot,” Singer said.
Robinson’s next step is a meeting with current SA President Roger Kapoor Monday to start the transition process, “so I can get the ball rolling,” Robinson said.