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USG candidates reflect on eventful election, campaign

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

While Taylor Stepp, a second-year in Russian and public affairs, and Kevin Arndt, a third-year in political science and public affairs, were elected president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government, the other three candidate duos are still looking to make a difference on Ohio State’s campus.

All four candidate duos were counting down the minutes till results were posted Sunday afternoon.

“It was painful,” said Kyle Strickland, a third-year in political science, about the loss. “The initial reaction was painful because it was a long, hard-fought campaign.”

But Strickland said there is little he would change about his and running mate Nick Parker’s campaign.

“You can always look back and say, ‘Where did I miss those votes?'” he said. “But it was a great race.”

Strickland and Parker, a fourth-year in political science and sociology, spent more than $2,700 campaigning and lost by about 900 of the 8,563 votes cast. They received 21.9 percent of the vote.

Niraj Antani, a third-year in political science and philosophy, and Nikki Brown, a third-year in political science and women studies, came in third for the election, with 19.9 percent of the votes.

“We congratulated Taylor and Kevin on the winning,” Antani said. “I think that all four teams ran a good campaign. Obviously the result is unfortunate, but I think we are looking forward to working with Taylor and Kevin on ensuring that student government is the voice of the students.”

Travis Skaggs, a second-year in economics, and Danielle Meyer, a third-year in political science, finished in fourth in the campaign with 16.6 percent of the vote.

“When the results came in, I was a little disheartened and there was a bit of a shock, but I was glad the campaigning was over,” Skaggs said.

All four candidate duos were involved in USG before the campaign, and said they hope to continue to work for students.

“I’d really like to see joint jurisdiction between the campus and Columbus police departments,” Parker said.

Antani said the voice still belongs to the students.

“This election shows that students can be involved in the process,” Antani said. “So I just hope that students hold the new administration accountable, that students voice their concerns, that students get involved in the process.”

After the hectic two-week campaign window, Antani said he hopes USG still has a presence on campus.

“I think that students still have a general feeling that USG shows up for two weeks and annoys people and leaves,” Antani said. “Hopefully Taylor and Kevin have taken that message to heart and they won’t just disappear.”

Skaggs said after two weeks of campaigning on the Oval, the first thing he wants to do is change his wardrobe.

“After the voting closed we all took off our yellow T-shirts because that was our wardrobe for two weeks,” Skaggs said. “I don’t want to wear yellow again for quite a few months.”

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