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Vicente and Powell will compete in student body president runoff next week

Winston Howes, Andrew Powell, and Nikita Shamdasani await results for the Student Body President results on Tuesday night. Andrew Powell and Emilio Vicente will be in the runoff election.
Winston Howes, Andrew Powell, and Nikita Shamdasani await results for the Student Body President results on Tuesday night. Andrew Powell and Emilio Vicente will be in the runoff election.

The votes are in, but the campaign continues.

Student body president candidates Emilio Vicente and Andrew Powell will compete in a runoff election on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the UNC Board of Elections announced after no candidate received the majority of the votes.

Vicente led all candidates with 41.08 percent of the vote, with Powell coming in second with 28.4 percent of the vote.

“Honestly, I’m still in shock,” Vicente said.

He expressed respect for the other candidates and how they handled the election.

“It’s been really clean,” Vicente said. “I want to commend all of the candidates, especially Winston and Nikita.”

Powell said he was surprised by the outcome.

“I feel very fortunate to have had this outcome and am certainly very excited to move forward,” he said.

Powell said he will continue to try to reach as many students as possible in preparation for next week’s election. He also added that he has a lot of respect for fellow candidates Nikita Shamdasani and Winston Howes.

“I’ll certainly be sitting down with Nikita and Winston both,” he said. “I would love to incorporate some of their ideas in our strategy going forward.”

Some 5,475 students voted in this year’s election, down from 5,691 votes last year, but it was still more than the record low of 4,507 in the 2012 election.

The voting system did experience problems with registering votes for the senior class president election. Robert Windsor, chairman of the Board of Elections, said some current seniors were able to vote for the office.

“When we corrected the problem this morning, only about 100 people had voted for senior class officers at that point,” he said.

He said they made sure the results were not changed by the extra votes.

Powell said it was difficult for him to submit his own vote.

“I actually had trouble voting. I had to submit a secondary form initially,” he said.

Vicente said he did not yet know if he would campaign any differently this week.

“I came in without any expectations,” he said, and added that he was excited to relax Tuesday night.

“I’m still in awe that I’ve received a lot of coverage,” Vicente said, though he stressed he remains focused on UNC.

Shamdasani came in third, getting 20.29 percent of the votes. She said she was disappointed, but still hopeful for next year.

“There will be a great student body president,” Shamdasani said.

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She said she would not able to endorse a candidate until she had a chance to sit down with them both.

Howes collected the remaining 10.23 percent of the vote and said he was prepared for all possible outcomes.

“I think it’ll be interesting seeing Andrew and Emilio go at it,” he said. “Because of his team and (its) dedication and integrity — I would endorse Powell at this point.”

Despite the loss, Howes said he plans to work with whatever administration wins to create openUNC, the app his campaign was centered on.

Last year, current Student Body President Christy Lambden defeated Will Lindsey in a runoff, garnering 55 percent of the vote after only receiving 22 percent of the vote in the original election.

Staff writers Jane Wester and Carolyn Ebeling contributed to the reporting.

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