With the highest primary election voter turnout since 2009, Jack Ayres, junior in chemical engineering, won the Kansas State Student Governing Association’s student body president primary elections with 1,263 of the 3,270 votes that were cast. Ayres received 37.16 percent of the vote.
“The first thing I noticed was, ‘Oh my God, we had over 3,000 people vote in the primaries,’ which is incredible,” Ayres said.
Behind Ayres with just 48 less votes, or 1.46 percent less of the total votes received, Matt Mindrup, sophomore in biology, was the second-highest vote getter.
48 votes separate Ayres, Mindrup in SGA presidential primary elections
Ayres said coming out on top is encouraging, but he acknowledges the small margins and thinks it will make for an exciting general election.
“The closeness, the 48 votes, between Matt and I is really encouraging for the next three weeks for me and Olivia (his vice presidential candidate) and everyone on our team at any level to really step it up and really go these next three weeks,” Ayres said.
Mindrup said he was in an organic chemistry exam when they announced the results.
“Everyone knew before I did, so I was very nervous,” Mindrup said. “It was very exciting, though, and me and Emily (his vice presidential candidate) are excited about the turnout and the numbers.”
Mindrup, Zwick: ‘Focused on You.’
Mindrup said the 48 vote separation between him and Ayres is exciting because it shows that reaching out to as many groups as possible paid off.
“We made a pledge to reach out to as many students as possible and I think it paid off,” Mindrup said. “I think it speaks to what a lot of people have been hoping for with the SGA elections. It’s a competitive environment, but it’s still not a majority of campus voting, so it’s something we have to keep working toward, but it’s a positive step forward.”
Over the next three weeks, Ayres said he and Olivia Baalman, junior in computer science and his vice presidential candidate, plan to continue sharing their platforms, “Your Degree. Your Campus. Your Voice.” with other campus organizations.
“We’ve spoken to groups and gotten lots of different questions and texts, so now we’re excited to go back to those groups and speak to new groups and discuss the ways in which their student voices are already being implemented and represented by the different things we are working on,” Ayres said. “Olivia and I are going to look into what we can do better and what changes we can do to do better.”
Ayres, Baalman: ‘Your Degree. Your Campus. Your Voice.’
Mindrup said he and Emily Zwick, sophomore in agricultural economics and his vice presidential candidate, will continue to be “Focused on Students.“
“We actually haven’t even taken a night off yet,” Mindrup said. “We just talked to the Association of Residence Halls, so we got to meet with another group of students and we’re excited to keep doing that and see the numbers go up.”
She brought change
Sarah McDermott, senior in entrepreneurship, received 638 votes, or 19.51 percent of the vote in the primary.
Ayres said while she will not be moving on to the general election, he appreciates the work McDermott put into her campaign, “She’s Bringing Change.”
“I want to acknowledge the hard work and amazing changes that Sarah and Mary (Abounabhan, junior in management and McDermott’s vice presidential candidate) initiated,” Ayres said. “I think the number of votes that they brought in represent a lot of students who may not have voted in previous years and I think that’s a testament to what they did.”