Hart confident, Sobel expects tight race

Posted 6:00 p.m. 2/28

And then there were two.

Junior Steve Sobel will face off with sophomore Kris Hart for the Student Association presidency next week after the two garnered the highest vote counts in a hotly contested eight-person race.

Election officials announced the results at 5:15 a.m. Friday to candidates in the Hippodrome, who had waited out seven nervous hours of vote counting with friends and campaigners.

Hart received 33 percent of the vote while Sobel took close to 19 percent as 2,890 students cast their ballots Wednesday and Thursday. Candidates need to garner 40 percent of the vote in order to win the election outright. Sobel supporters were the loudest group as his name was announced. He beat out Adam Greenman by 59 votes in order to make the run-off.

“I think I ran a really grassroots campaign and spoke to the issues students care about,” Sobel said. “I’m looking forward to what should be a great run off.”

Hart said he is extremely confident he will defeat Sobel next week.

“This was all very exciting. There were an enormous amount of people who believed this would be a successful campaign,” Hart said. “I hope that I can lead a strong and unified senate next year.”

Incumbent Executive Vice President Eric Daleo won re-election with 51 percent of the vote, although he was part of a six-person field.

Daleo was particularly vocal about his outright victory, noting that he was proud to have won despite what he called “extremely biased” Hatchet news coverage.

“I’m happy to continue serving students…it was a clear referendum stating that students don’t want to see politics in the SA but getting things done,” Daleo said. “They also don’t want to see extremely biased Hatchet stories.”

Vice President of Judicial and Legislative Affairs Justin Oshana released a report Wednesday implicating recently re-elected Sen. J.P Blackford (G-SEAS) and Daleo in fiscal impropriety. The report included a witness testimony that Daleo had been joking with Blackford about covering up a purchase of alcohol with student funds as “soda and ice” for an April 2002 party. Oshana said he released the report to forestall the Blackford write-in campaign.

Blackford resigned in December amid the public scandal, citing a class scheduling conflict with SA meetings. He ran a write-in campaign and was elected last night for what will be his 10th year in the Senate, receiving two write-in votes.

Sobel and Hart both said that they would like to put this year’s politics behind them and noted that School of Engineering and Applied Sciences students have made a decision.

“(Blackford) was re-elected by the students, whether it be two votes or 1000,” Hart said. “If the (graduate SEAS) students believe he has a right to be a senator…I look forward to getting past the obstacles.”

“He has a lot of experience and hopefully he can learn from his past mistakes and hopefully we can work together,” Sobel said. “Let democracy work….if this who they want, that’s their decision.”

Daleo received 1,302 votes with Laura DeLucia finishing a distant second with 331 votes and Jason Cabrera receiving 283 votes.

Greenman said Friday that he was displeased with the outcome.

“I am a little disappointed,” Greenman said. “We have run a great campaign with a lot of people working very hard.”

Graham Murphy finished fourth with 278 presidential votes and Jon Costanza, David Feldman, Jon McDaniel and Dan Teles closed out the field.

The run-off is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

-Julie Gordon and Alex Kingsbury contributed to this report.

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