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Tarpey, Knight advance in MUSG primary

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Michaela Tarpey and Will Knight advanced to next Tuesday’s general election for Marquette Student Government president Friday after they finished first and second, respectively, in a primary election that concluded Friday at 4 p.m.

Tarpey, a junior in the college of Arts & Sciences, and running mate Thomas Schick, a Schroeder Hall senator and sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, earned 31.3 percent of the vote, or 398 votes. Knight, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Dan Bresnahan, a junior in the College of Business Administration, won 27 percent of the vote, or 343 votes.

Sam Schultz and Zach Bowman, the College of Arts & Sciences senators who had the most MUSG experience of any ticket, missed moving on to the general election by seven votes, receiving 26.4 percent of the vote, or 336 votes. Schultz is a junior; Bowman is a sophomore.

“We feel for Sam and Zach because seven votes is such a small margin,” Knight said. “If we were in their position, it would be pretty heartbreaking.”

Zachary Dubois and Ely Elizondo, two freshmen in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Communication, respectively, received 15.3 percent of the vote, or 195 votes.

The DuBois-Elizondo ticket was also accused of violating campaign rules, according to an MUSG press release Friday.

“An alleged violation of campaign rules has been filed against the Dubois-Elizondo ticket,” the release reads. “Although a hearing has not been scheduled to review the allegations, which could affect the final number and percentage of votes received by their campaign, this does not affect the ability to identify finalists for the MUSG President-Executive Vice President race at this time.”

Tarpey and Schick had trouble finding words to express their feelings after hearing the primary results announced at 5 p.m. Friday.

“We’re really excited,” Tarpey said. “We can’t wait to continue working on our campaign. and we’re going to prepare for the debate (Sunday night at 7 p.m.).”

Though they had no MUSG experience coming into the election, Knight and Bresnahan expected to be able to move through the primary. The believed, seemingly correctly, that the tickets of Schultz-Bowman and Tarpey-Schick would split the vote of students looking for more experienced members of MUSG.

“We figured Tarpey-Schick and Sam and Zach would be each others’ worst enemies, so we felt we had a pretty good chance to advance past the primary,” Knight said.

Both tickets expressed gratitude and admiration toward the tickets not be moving on to the debates or the general election.

“I think we would like to give all the credit in the world, and all the respect, to the other tickets,” Schick said.

Turnout for the primary election was low, even by MUSG standards, as only 1,272 of 7,497 eligible voters participated. The turnout in this year’s primary election – 17 percent – is less than half that of the spring 2012 general election, in which 36.4 percent of students voted. Last fall’s election for residential MUSG senators and Residence Hall Association hall representatives garnered a 22.1 percent turnout.

Friday’s results come after results from the original primary election, held Tuesday, were thrown out due to technical problems with the Marquette Involvement Link voting system. Results from the original primary have not been released.

The two advancing tickets will square off in a debate on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Alumni Memorial Union room 163.

“We would like to provide as much information as we can about ourselves so the voters can make an educated decision,” Tarpey said. “We need to try as much as we can to show people who we really are.”

Knight and Bresnahan said they hope to connect with voters during the debate, as well.

“We’d like to highlight how important new voices are in student government,” Knight said. “We want people to believe that Dan and I are taking this seriously, and we really think that we’d make a big difference in MUSG.”

Representatives from the Schultz-Bowman and DuBois-Elizondo tickets could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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