Having submitted almost double the number of signatures of any other candidate — and more than any in recent memory — junior Rick Ingram has emerged as the favorite in the race for student body president.
Candidates were required to turn in their petitions to the Board of Elections with 1,250 unique signatures Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Ingram collected 2,945 signatures, 1,368 more than any other candidate.
Rick said he thinks his lead represents an advantage.
“I think anytime that you can engage that many students, it’s a great thing,” Ingram said. “It’s nice to know my freezing hands were worth something.”
Candidate Ian Lee said he did not believe Ingram’s count represented a significant advantage.
“I don’t think there is a direct correlation between signatures and support,” Lee said.
Last year, Hogan Medlin, the current student body president, collected the most signatures — 1,891 — followed by Shruti Shah and Monique Hardin. Their respective signature counts correlated with their places in the election, with Medlin finishing first and Shah and Hardin finishing second and third, respectively.
Mary Cooper collected 1,577 signatures, Lee collected 1,387 signatures and Brooklyn Stephens collected 1,240 signatures, 10 short of the required number.
Stephens will have until Friday at 5 p.m. to submit at least 10 valid signatures to the board in order to be certified.
Dylan Gilroy, the final candidate, did not submit any signatures to the board. Gilroy has said that he is not running a serious campaign.
Cooper said she doesn’t think Ingram’s lead necessarily makes him the favorite.
“It’s definitely an impressive and unprecedented amount, but I’m looking forward to the discussion of more issues,” she said.
Lee said his ability to collect signatures online helped him attract more support.
“It definitely allowed us to reach students we would not otherwise be able to,” he said. “We had well over 200 online signatures, but it certainly did not replace our clipboard efforts.”
The board decided Sunday night to allow Lee to use electronic signatures he collected via a website his campaign created.
Candidates said they were anxious to get past the petition stage.
“I’m really excited to be able to talk with students about issues,” Lee said.
“Up until this point this campaign has been mostly about getting signatures.”
Certified candidates will participate in the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies presidential debate — the first debate of the season — at the Dialectic Chamber tonight at 7:30 p.m.
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