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Istvan, Bell win 2004 presidential election

Scott Brodfuehrer | Monday, February 16, 2004

The Student Senate broke the election deadlock Sunday afternoon, electing Adam Istvan the next student body president by a15-13 vote.While senators were constitutionally bound to vote for the candidate that the majority of their dorm voted for, they were not informed of their dorm’s vote until Sunday’s meeting. Judicial Council President Elliot Poindexter declined to release dorm vote totals to The Observer.Poindexter announced the Senate’s vote to Istvan’s vice president Karla Bell and to candidate Charlie Ebersol and his running mate James Leito following the Senate’s meeting. Istvan did not attend the announcement, as he was returning from a planned trip to Michigan to visit his fiance.”I am very excited, very happy. I think we’re going to do a great job,” Bell said.Istvan later said he was happy the popular vote was followed.”At this point, I was just glad that what the will of the students was is what happened. I was excited on Thursday when we got a large victory in the popular vote and I’m glad that we got the victory from the students,” Istvan said.Ebersol said that the results were not unexpected, as Istvan had captured 1,723 votes as compared to his 1,538 in Thursday’s runoff election.”I didn’t think we were going to win, the numbers just didn’t work out in the dorms. There is no way the numbers could have worked out,” Ebersol said.Istvan received 975 more votes in the runoff election than he did in the first election, which he attributed to the merits of his ticket, among other factors.”The endorsements [of the other tickets] … helped us build our own support in addition to the ‘anyone but Charlie’ [mindset among some students]. But [Ebersol has] never been anything but completely pleasant and [Leito] is a spectacular student leader and I would expect to see him in student government in the future,” Istvan said.Ebersol said he could not imagine changing the way he campaigned.”I don’t think we could have run any different a campaign. I think that we did everything that could have been thought of in running a presidential election and I think at this point we have to just move forward,” Ebersol said.Istvan said he planned to incorporate the some of the ideas of the other candidates, saying that student government is “all about great ideas.””Ryan [Craft] and Steve [Lynch] had the staplers in the computer clusters, I gotta go with it. I haven’t spoken with them yet, but if [Ebersol] says he can get a student on the Board of Trustees, that is something no one can afford to overlook. Any help in that area he can give me would be greatly appreciated,” Istvan said.Ebersol said his campus involvement next year would likely take the form of work with the Kroc Institute. Leito said he was open to speaking with Istvan and Bell about working in student government next year. Istvan, whose previous experience with student government is limited to serving as a dorm dance commissioner, said he would work in the next weeks to overcome this inexperience. “I have to ask the current administration a million questions. I want to surround myself with an experienced staff. We are not in office by ourselves,” Istvan said.Istvan said he would also benefit from the efforts to streamline student government that took place and that he would keep the main idea of the changes in place.”The general idea of the changes, … to streamine student government, to get our own house in order, is a positive step,” Istvan said. “It’s going to make my job easier, especially being a less experienced president. It’s going to make our job much easier having a new structure in place.”