By: Albert Luna
The next President of ASNMSU should have been decided almost a week ago now. Instead, the Association does not yet have a leader for the 2017-2018 school year as a run-off race nears its end.
Kevin Prieto and Corey Stevens, both Juniors in the College of Business are the two candidates left standing after the original general election produced no clear winner after no one received at least 51 percent of the vote.
“Let’s do it again” Prieto told The Round Up on Wednesday about the run-off, “It lights a fire underneath you, now it is the homestretch.”
Prieto, the current Vice President of ASNMSU, was just under 140 votes shy of winning the Presidency outright in the general election last week, ending up with 1,046 total votes initially out of 2,347 votes that were cast.
Stevens, on the other hand, finished nearly 220 votes behind Prieto, collecting 829 in all.
“Going into the General Election, we knew we were the underdogs and I knew that our goal would be to force a runoff” Stevens said, “When the results posted, me and my campaign staff were excited that we forced the election into a runoff; one step at a time.”
Manuel Ordoque received 368 but was eliminated from contention as he did not place in the top two of the voting results.
The run-off, which by ASNMSU election guidelines must occur over at least 5 full school days, will not conclude until Monday, April 17at 5 P.M.
The reason for this is that the University will be closed on Friday, April 14, in observance of Good Friday, thereby having to push voting, and the results of the fate of the presidency into the weekend.
“I expressed my concerns about voting being open during the weekend; about my issue with monitoring it over a Holiday. But, we will just have to fight until it’s over and hope for the best” Stevens said.
Prieto echoed similar remarks in the way that the voting schedule has been altered to accommodate the holiday, “I feel it kills the momentum that we’ve picked up” he says, “That Monday [April 17] is a little weird because you have to remind people that it is not over. I am not planning on doing too much campaigning during the weekend, I think people, including myself, should spend time with their family, that’s family time.”
Despite already campaigning for the two weeks preceding the week of the run-offs, Prieto says that he is still has found this extra week of campaigning to be beneficial and productive.
“The support and all of the people that I’ve met is truly revitalizing in a way that I get to meet new people almost again and again that come up to me on a personal basis and show their support” Prieto said.
With this week, Stevens says he is focusing on reinforcing some of the previous platforms points that he talked about during the campaign, “This week has been about ground campaigning and closing the margin with the supporters of the third candidate, Manny Ordoque” he said, “We have been focusing on creating conversations with students all throughout campus to solidify our message and increase our support.”
Prieto, for his strategy with the extra time, says he is trying to focus more on some of the voting sections he feels he could improve from the first go-around, particularly with the engineering college, “I’ve been able to reach out to a lot more engineering students this week, I have been able to go down there and speak with them more” he says.
“It’s amazing when a student knows what the run-off is and how important it can be” Prieto added.
Stevens says that despite the results next Monday, he has put together a past few weeks to be proud of, “Many individuals have poured their time and energy into this campaign and I am honored to represent so many students” he says, “My supporters have kept me going and I am honestly just so passionate about giving back to NMSU and our students.”
The election concludes at 5 P.M. on Monday. For full results and analysis, log on to http://www.nmsuroundup.net