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The Daily Tar Heel

CAA Candidates Put Scandals Aside

Candidates have been working to win voters back to their camps for the past two weeks with more talk of ticket distribution and the fate of Carolina Fever than of the scandals that have marred the race thus far.

Candidate Reid Chaney was named the winner of the Feb. 13 election after 27 write-in votes were declared invalid, giving him a five-vote majority. Chaney's opponent, Michael Songer, appealed his loss to the Board of Elections, saying that an e-mail message sent by Davin McGinnis, UNC alumnus and former Carolina Fever president, was libelous and possibly could have affected the five-vote margin.

The Board of Elections ruled that the e-mail likely was fabricated but mandated a re-election, which resulted in extra time for the two candidates to reorganize.

And although these scandals have resulted in heated debates and often nasty personal attacks, Songer and Chaney tried to take a relaxed and laid back approach on the final day before the vote.

Songer and his campaign volunteers spent their day in the Pit and then went door to door in residence halls in the evening.

Songer said he was trying to remain calm in the midst of the controversy and said he has tried to look beyond the scandals.

"I'm trying to focus on all of the issues we brought up in our campaign," Songer said. "I'm trying to stay away from all the negative stuff.

"We are gonna be in the Pit all day, just hanging out and playing music," Songer said.

He used video games and sports footage to attract the attention of passing students.

Chaney speculated that the controversy surrounding the election probably has done little to attract students to either candidate. He said he realizes that students are tired and frustrated with the situation and he just wants to encourage them to voice their opinions in the election.

Chaney also spent the day in the Pit asking students to remember to vote today. He went door to door at residence halls from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. He also plans to have volunteers on campus today to solicit votes.

"I don't really want to bug people because it has been such a long campaign," Chaney said. "I just want to remind people to vote."

Chaney said he felt he did not need to change his campaign strategies the second time around.

"I'm doing pretty much the same thing as I have for the whole campaign," he said. "It worked last time -- hopefully, it will work again."

The saga that happened after Chaney's initial win included a Feb. 15 hearing in which members of Songer's campaign accused Chaney's campaign of being behind McGinnis' mass e-mail sent out prior to the election. Songer thought he had successfully linked Chaney and members of the current CAA Cabinet, including President Tee Pruitt and Carolina Fever Co-chairman Eric Ellis, to the e-mail.

But after recent investigations, the Board of Elections decided these CAA Cabinet members, and possibly several other students, were framed.

Both Songer and Chaney acknowledged the lengthiness of the race and said they were relieved the end was in sight.

As campaigning concludes, the candidates say they will leave it to the students to decide the outcome.

Songer said, "I hope the students will see through the controversy and vote on the issues."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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