In yesterday’s elections for UF Student Senate, amid a controversial move by the incumbent Gator party to pull SG’s advertising from the only student newspaper, a high turnout of 6,666 (that’s not a typo!), the opposition party made its strongest showing since 2000. Interestingly enough, 2000 was also a year when the SG leadership did a dumb and controversial move. And in 1998, the third strong showing in recent years, a SG President was hit with a lawsuit among other things that caused hype and controversy. See a pattern?
The Fall elections always go to the greek/FBK party. The real challenge is to see if the upstarts can win any seats at all in an environment with always lower turnout than what we see in the big elections in the Spring.
This time, the incumbent Gator party took 40 seats and approximately 2/3 of the vote. The opposition Impact party took 5 or 6 seats and the rest of the vote. Not a bad showing at all, especially with the early word being that District D (the largest and among the hardest to campaign in) was very close – that’s a good sign for Impact’s future showing in the Spring 2006 fight.
Update: The actual totals give Gator 64% of the vote to Impact’s 30%. The Senate breakdown was 37-6, with 2 write-ins winning seats, and 1 tie vote to be broken, presumably in Gator’s favor. This included 4 seats from District D – only the second time in history this has happened. This is the third best overall result for an opposition party, with probably the 2nd highest turnout for a fall election. They are in good shape for the Spring 2006 fight, just as I thought earlier.