Polson Kanneth was elected president of the Student Confederation, AU’s student government, on March 4 after a one-day election runoff against Steve Gilbert. Both had beaten out competition from three other candidates in the general election, which was held from Feb. 28 to March 2.
” They gave us a run for our money,” Kanneth said of his opponents. ” After we found out we were going into the runoff, we organized again ... I think we had a lot of energy, we had that momentum.”
Kanneth won with 55.7 percent of the vote over his competitor. The race allowed each candidate an extra day of campaigning for both candidates.
Gilbert, known as Big Steve, lost with only 43.9 percent of the vote.
“I thought the election went smoothly, it was a clean campaign except for the banner burning, but I think it went pretty well,” Gilbert said. “I really wanted to shake things up and provide a new perspective. Now it depends on the type of capacity that Polson’s administration [will want about the perspectives from South side and the greek community]. It will be interesting to find out.”
Also on the ballot were two amendments to the SC Constitution. The first dealt with the removal from office article while the second updated the purpose of the SC. The amendments both passed with more than the required 3/4th support of the voters.
Board of Elections Chair Kyle Harding reported that 911 students voted in the runoff, 350 less then those who voted in the general election.
“There were 911 votes which is more than the 869 total for last year’s [general] election,” Harding said. “I think overall, the general consensus is that this has been one of the smoothest elections in SC history.”
The results of the race will be certified at the next meeting of the General Assembly, the undergraduate-student legislature, on Sunday, Harding said.
“I don’t expect any problems” with the approval, Harding said. “I don’t see [the GA] doing anything that would invalidate any of the results.”
The amendments will also take effect at that time.
Kanneth will be sworn in April 3 with running mate Jason Trombley, who was elected vice president in the general election, as well as Comptroller-elect Moamar Tidjani-Dourdjaye and Secretary-elect Jamie Rea.
“Next year that office is going to be one loud room on the second floor of Mary Graydon,” Trombley said. “I am ecstatic. We formed this [ticket] in October and I am genuinely glad I stuck with this thing all the way through.”
With the race over, Kanneth is focused on spring break before beginning to transition into his new office. He planned to meet with each of his opponents from the general election to see how they can fit in his administration, he said.
“I want to meet with all of them, have lunch,” Kanneth said. “I really want to incorporate [Greek life]. Big Steve brought that into the whole campaign. I think that is a really big issue.”
Kanneth’s campaign started in October, according to Campaign Manager Marc Malon, and has now moved into a transition stage.
“It’s going to be an exciting summer,” Kanneth said. “We have a lot of good stuff ahead. We haven’t chosen any cabinet positions yet. We’re not planning on doing that yet.”