In the university’s second highest voter turnout of all time, Dan Gearhart and Tim Hole squeaked by their competition Wednesday, winning the two top executive spots in student government for the 2009 to 2010 academic year.
In an election where nearly 25 percent of the student body made its voice heard, the Associated Students of CSU’s Elections Manager Zane Guilfoyle said only 134 votes separated the top two campaigns, and about 300 between the top three.
“I couldn’t breathe after I heard the ‘D’ syllable come out,” said Vice President-elect Hole, breathing heavily in the hallway.
Sitting in the seats of the emptying Senate chamber, Gearhart said he was speechless. “You can’t really say much,” he said.
Gearhart and Hole ran on a platform of saving the environment, saving students money and getting student voices heard on campus.
The campaign will work toward improving CSU’s environmental sustainability, limiting unnecessary fee increases, getting a voting student representative on the CSU System’s Board of Governors and filling the student seats on university committees, among others, Gearhart said.
Shaun Reed and Melisa Panagakos came in second place, Conrad Miller and Jake Donovan took third, and Andy Moores and Paul Wade came in last.
Tears, applause and shouts erupted from the crowd with Guilfoyle’s announcement, breaking the thick anticipation in the chamber.
“I thought the results went great,” said junior political science major Shannon Endres. “I was a little surprised, but I think that Dan and Tim are going to be great candidates.”
Donovan said he thought his campaign had a shot at winning and was disappointed with the results. Miller said he was shocked that just 300 votes separated their campaign from the top.
“It probably hasn’t hit me yet that we were that close,” Miller said.
Moores said his unorthodox campaign made its statement and had a good run, but said that “Dan and Tim are good guys” and he is now looking to help them in the future.
Reed and Panagakos could not be reached for comment.
Hole said the victory was due to a solid campaign platform and a lot of face-to-face contact, and said the success was a tribute to everyone on the team.
Gearhart said his first order of business is to call his mom, but that work on next year’s budget will begin in the next couple of days and current President Taylor Smoot said he was “super excited” to begin working with Gearhart and Hole.
“Getting elected is the easy part,” he said.
ASCSU beat reporter Shelley Woll contributed to this report.
Assistant News Editor Jim Sojourner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org