Friday, March 28, 2008

Congratulations Patrick!

Focus sweeps ASUU elections
By: Michael McFall
The Daily Utah Chronicle
Posted: 3/24/08

In one of the biggest landslides in recent student government election history, the Focus Party won the election for student body president with nearly 64 percent of the vote.

Patrick Reimherr, the Focus presidential candidate, and his running mate, Jon Hayes, received 1,741 votes compared to the 964 votes received by Spork candidate Graham Anderson and running mate John Bowers.

Madison Warren won the position of senior class president for Focus over Spork's candidate, McCaye Badger, with 69 percent of the vote.

Altogether, Spork received 35 percent of the vote compared to Focus' 64 percent. The remaining one percent of the votes went to write-in candidates such as Mickey Mouse, Chuck Norris and Ninja. The victorious party in the two previous student government elections won with 54 percent of the vote.

Dave Martini, the Associated Students of the University of Utah elections registrar, announced the election results to a crowd on the Union patio on March 14. Amidst falling snow, Focus candidates and supporters hugged and cried as they celebrated their victory.

Focus also won almost every legislative position, except two Senate seats.

Three seats in the General Assembly seats have yet to be decided because of a problem with the online voting. The seats representing the College of Education will be filled after students in the college recast their votes online through the Campus Information System this Tuesday and Wednesday.

About 13 percent of the student body turned out to cast their ballot, a 1 percent increase over last year's turnout.

Reimherr said he's looking forward to a productive year and to building on the efforts of the past administration. The new administration plans to publish a campus handbook at the beginning of each semester called The Red Pages. They also plan to create a polling team to facilitate constant communication between ASUU and student opinions.

"We worked hard, connected with the students, and it's going to be a great year," Reimherr said.

Reimherr, Hayes and Warren want to host a regular forum where student groups can learn to recruit, advertise and receive legislative funding. They also hope to educate the student body about sustainability and the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Anderson congratulated his opponents and said he plans to get involved with ASUU next year but will not run in another election.

"I want to congratulate them," Anderson said. "They ran a great campaign."

In the next two months, Reimherr and Hayes will select their future staff members and discuss issues with the current executive cabinet.

"There is most definitely a place for Spork candidates (on our staff)," Hayes said.

Current ASUU President Spencer Pearson said he is looking forward to working with Reimherr and his team.

Reimherr, Hayes and Warren will be inaugurated sometime before finals during the last week of April, Martini said.

The inauguration typically takes place around Reading Day, a school day without classes for students to prepare for their final exams, Martini said. Until then, Martini will meet with administrators to discuss how the election rules could be improved before next year's contest.

"The election was what I expected," Martini said. "(It was) a lot of hard work helping the candidates and being firm."

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