NISG to have runoff presidential election

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  • Vice presidential candidate Kristen Ahart and presidential candidate Drew Stensland wait in anticipation for the election results.

  • Presidential candidate Tristan Bernhard and vice presidential candidate Cole Malcolm chat after the runoff election announcement.

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The Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) presidential election is heading to a second round after no ticket was able to secure a majority of the vote in this week’s election.

NISG election rules mandate that a presidential ticket secure 50 percent of the vote plus one to win office.

The runoff will be between Drew Stensland and Kristan Ahart, and Tristan Bernhard and Cole Malcolm. Seán Dugan and Chad Schafer were eliminated after finishing in third place.

Tristan and Cole finished first with 46.5 percent of the vote, Drew and Kristen achieved second place with 42.5 percent of the vote and Seán and Chad came in third with 10.1 percent of the vote.

The runoff election will be held next week. Polls are expected to open at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 6, and close at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. The election commission plans to announce the results soon after polls close next Wednesday.

Presidential candidate Drew Stensland spoke regarding last night’s results.

“I think it really speaks to how hard we’ve been working,” Stensland said. “We’re only down a few points […] and I think we’re in an awesome position to really work hard over the next week, really reconnect with voters and continue the work that we’ve started over the past few days and just make sure we go out and win this.”

Stensland’s running mate, vice presidential candidate Kristen Ahart, credited their team’s work for launching their ticket into the runoff.

“I’m nothing but proud for our team and the hard work that all of them have put into this night,” Ahart said. “We really have them to thank for everything. Kudos to our team.”

Presidential candidate Tristan Bernhard also expressed pride in the work his campaign has done over the last two weeks.

“We’re very proud of the work we’ve put in so far, but I think these results show that we have a lot of work left to do to connect with the student body and represent their interests,” Bernhard said.

Bernhard’s running mate Cole Malcolm commented, saying that he has enjoyed the spirited debate of the campaign so far.

“The campaign process has been very positive so far. It’s been a pleasure to debate different ideas with Drew and Kristen,” Malcolm said. “They’re both fantastic leaders, and we’d love to continue to work with them and, you know, next week we’ll see how it ends. I think all four people are great candidates.”

“We appreciate the positive nature of the campaign so far, and we hope that that continues,” Bernhard added.

Seán Dugan and Chad Schafer were disappointed to miss the runoff, but appreciated the opportunity to run for office.

“I’m really disappointed that we lost, but we’re really happy that we were able to get our voice heard, change the dialogue and get new thoughts and ideas to the table that were previously not thought of,” Dugan said. “We wish both Tristan and Cole, as well as Drew and Kristen, the best of luck in this upcoming week.”

“Honestly, I’m pretty happy,” Schafer said. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t make it, but at the same time I’m really happy, and I’m really looking forward to working with the next administration, whoever it may be. I’m just really excited to continue working.”

In addition to the presidential and vice presidential election, the results of the various senatorial campaign races were also announced on Wednesday night.

There were four senatorial seats available for the College of Business and Administration. They went to Jacob Levang, Amela Music, Laura Jimenez and Lucas Gremler.

The six seats in the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences went to Katie Wempen, Kristin Rasmussen, Angela Speltz, Carlos Aldape Jr., Thomas Rowe and Conner McMillen.

The College of Education had four seats available, which went to Trevor Fletcher, Jacob Hartman, Jennifer Zehner and Kaylynne Hunttinger.

There were three seats in the College of Social and Behavioral Science. The winners were Mahlia Brown, Jacob Harberts and Isaak Espersen.

The two senatorial seats for undecided majors went to Ryan Frank and Caleb Gipple.

Lastly, the single seat for graduate students went to Madeline Spettel.

— News Editor Jacob Madden contributed to this story.