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Candidates reflect on election experience

Kristen Durbin | Monday, February 11, 2013

A six-ticket race was whittled down to two potential platforms to represent the Notre Dame student body when Wednesday’s election resulted in a runoff between juniors Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce and juniors Dominic Romeo and Philip Hootsmans.

Following last night’s runoff debate, Coccia said he and Joyce plan to go into today’s election with the momentum gathered from student support for their ticket.

“We have really been honored by the excitement and enthusiasm behind our campaign,” Coccia said. “Going door-to-door in the dorms has really opened our eyes to the breadth and depth of interests within the student body, and we would be very excited to turn those ideas into action once within student government.”

As part of one of the two tickets involved in the runoff election, Romeo said he and Hootsmans will continue to advocate for a more representative student government by promoting their vision to the student body.

“Since the beginning of this process, Phil and I have believed that our platform and ideals align with what our Notre Dame student body wants: a student government that represents our collective desires and advocates for our collective needs,” Romeo said. “To make it into the runoff … means that our student body not only agrees with such a vision but believes that we have the capacity to make such a vision a reality.”

For the candidates who missed the runoff election, the results represented the culmination of concerted campaign efforts.

After campaigning on the strength of their five combined years of student government experience, junior Michael Masi and sophomore Tim Scanlan said they were honored to have had the opportunity to promote their vision for the Notre Dame family throughout the election process.

“It is a humbling experience to have represented the Notre Dame family in this election. Words cannot express how much inspiration students, family and friends have provided me throughout my time at Notre Dame,” Masi said.

As students voting in today’s election, Masi said he and Scanlan believe the Romeo-Hootsmans ticket emphasizes values common with those espoused by their own platform.

“It is my belief that the Romeo-Hootsmans ticket best shares the vision and ideals Tim and I set out for student government,” Masi said. “Their willingness to listen to students, work with others and unite the Notre Dame family together as one is truly admirable.”

Despite an outcome not in their favor, sophomores Billy Christy and Pat Roemer said the election demonstrated the commitment of their supporters to campaign on their behalf.

“It’s meant a lot to both of us that we have so many friends willing to sacrifice their time and go out of their ways to help us,” Christy said. “We’re really humbled that hundreds of people thought that we were the guys for the job and could not be prouder of everyone’s work.”

Moving forward, Christy said he and Roemer support Romeo and Hootsmans to lead the Notre Dame student body next year.

For freshmen Austin O’Brien and Nick Boggess, their candidacy shows promise for the future of student government at Notre Dame.

“Although I will not have the opportunity to serve in student government as president, I am hopeful that I will be able to serve in another capacity,” O’Brien said.

After progressing through the election process, O’Brien said he “fully endorses” Coccia and Joyce in today’s election.

“Alex is an approachable, strong leader who has experience uniting the campus while fighting for student rights,” he said.

In the wake of allegations of election violations against other tickets, freshmen Kevin Salat and Paul Mascarenhas said the outcome of the election leaves them with one voting option in the runoff election.

“Our endorsement can only go to one position in this runoff election due to the way things turned out, and that’s to the ‘abstain’ vote,” Salat said. “We refuse to support any candidates that allegedly violated campaign rules and do not want to advocate supporting student government in any way.”

Runoff election voting will be open via email today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.