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The Daily Tar Heel

SBP Campaigns Bring Student Resignations

Four student government members have resigned to work on upcoming student body president campaigns.

The members, who were chairmen and vice chairmen of various committees, submitted their letters of resignation by the Nov. 3 deadline set by Student Body President Justin Young. One other Cabinet member, Chessa Huff, resigned for personal reasons.

Young said members are asked to resign if they plan on working for student government campaigns because of potential conflicts of interest.

Last year, three Cabinet members resigned. "Campaigns for student body could take time and energy away from student government," Young said.

Brothers Russ and Scott Jones resigned from their positions on the Cabinet to help junior Will McKinney run his campaign for student body president. Both worked on Young's campaign last year and said they are looking forward to the campaign season.

"I felt like a lot of the things with Justin Young wanted to be carried into next year in order to assure there is a continuation of similar issues and goals," Russ said.

Cabinet member Robert Basinger resigned from his position as vice chairman of academic affairs so he could work on junior Jen Daum's campaign for student body president as her campaign manager. "I enjoyed my time on the Cabinet," Basinger said. "But this would be a more important contribution to the University if (Daum) was elected student body president."

Kristen Cordell, vice chairwoman of student services, resigned from the Cabinet to serve as junior James Haltom's campaign manager until he decided not to run. Cordell said she is interested in working for a campaign but has not made plans to help another candidate.

The deadline for resignations varies every year, but Young said the date was chosen to give student government adequate time to fill the vacant positions.

Current executive branch members already have expressed interest in filling the open positions, and Young said he hopes to fill the vacancies as soon as possible.

Although student elections are still months away, Cabinet resignations are the first sign of how the field is shaping up.

Juniors Daum, McKinney, Brad Overcash and Michael Woods have confirmed their intent to run for president. Haltom, vice president of the UNC-system Association of Student Governments and another potential candidate, decided Tuesday not to run even though he had already started his campaign. Haltom said he decided not to run because he wants to remain involved in the ASG.

No formal announcement of candidacy can be made until next semester, but the four potential candidates said they are presently planning their campaigns. Until the Jan. 15 announcement date, candidates recruit staff and form their campaign platforms. Elections will be held Feb. 5.

All the candidates said they believe the campaign is going to be competitive. "It's going to be fun and a very close race," Overcash said.

McKinney also said the race would be tight. "Everyone is very qualified."

Daum said the well-rounded pool of candidates will make the race interesting. "We will just have to see what the student body wants."

Woods, who was a candidate for student body president last year before dropping out of the race for personal reasons, confirmed his intent to run but declined to comment further on the campaign.

The University Editor can be reached at

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