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The Daily Tar Heel

Daum Drives Home SBP Victory

Students Give Daum 53.4 Percent Of Vote in Win Over McKinney

Four weeks of waking up at 6:30 a.m. to catch students on their way to class and sitting in the Pit for hours each day came down to a 416-vote margin, with Daum receiving 53.4 percent of the 6,076 votes cast.

Upon learning she will be UNC's next student body president, a relatively composed Daum immediately ran to embrace campaign manager Robert Basinger, then hurried to Union Station, where a large group of her staff and supporters greeted the victor with cheers and tears.

Cheers of "we won" radiated through the hall as Daum waded through the crowd, hugging supporters and flashing a broad smile. Overwhelmed but making sure to talk to as many people as possible, Daum was greeted with hugs by former candidates Brad Overcash, Fred Hashagen, and Bennett Mason.

Briefly exiting to call her parents on her cell phone, Daum returned to a still-exuberant crowd clapping with excitement. "My parents said, 'We were waiting for your call, did you win?' and I said 'Yes!'" she said. "They were so proud of me and overlooked my extensive cell phone bill."

Daum then climbed on a table and addressed a group of about 25 supporters.

"The (Daily Tar Heel) reported after the general election that that was the first time that I had ever been speechless," Daum said. "I can honestly say that this is the second time."

Daum continued to thank staff and supporters as cameras flashed and cigars began to circulate.

"This campaign has been hard sometimes and has been great sometimes, " she said. "Thank you all so much, and please come out tonight!"

Right before going out to Franklin Street to celebrate, a staff teary-eyed with joy gathered for a group photo, the culmination of the monthlong campaign.

Daum said she was a bit overwhelmed after hearing the results but is pleased that she will soon be able to represent the student body.

"I am so excited to have this opportunity to serve, and I appreciate all of the support," she said. "I feel so thankful and grateful."

Daum said she definitely planned to go out and celebrate but wasn't quite sure where her victory party would take her. "We are just going to go out and see what happens, probably go out to a few bars, parties, and then I plan on inviting some people over to my house tonight," she said.

Basinger said that what he felt put Daum over the top was the endorsement of former candidates Hashagen, Mason and Overcash.

"The best thing that happened to us since last Tuesday was the other candidates supporting us and working with them to adopt some of their platform ideas," he said. "With our win tonight, I think we all feel like all our months of hard work have been validated."

Daum said she thought the last week of campaigning helped her come out on top. "We came out a lot stronger this week," she said. "We campaigned harder, talked to more people and made more posters. It was all just bigger and better."

For McKinney, it was a night filled with thank yous.

After leaving the Student Television studio, McKinney called his parents to break the news to them and thank them before greeting his supporters.

McKinney's supporters broke into applause when he entered the Union Station area. He immediately stood on a table and thanked them for their efforts.

"(Forty-seven) percent is nothing to be ashamed of," he told his supporters. "I'm in your debt. Every last one of you."

McKinney said he had no regrets about his campaign and wished Daum luck.

"I liked her from the day I met her, and she'll make a good student body president," he said.

As the fervor subsided, McKinney continued to thank his campaign staff and announced an upcoming barbecue party at his house to celebrate the their efforts.

Unlike Daum, McKinney said he would head home Tuesday night instead of going out. "Tonight I'm going to get some rest, thank my supporters and wake up tomorrow," he said.

But for Daum, tomorrow is just the beginning.

"We are going to go out and celebrate tonight," Daum said.

"Tomorrow we will go to work."

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

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Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for February 5, 2024