Editor’s note: After additional hearings Thursday morning, Ryan Kelly was disqualified from the student body presidential race. Read more here.
In a video released on Twitter by Patrick Hopfinger, sophomore in political science, Ryan Kelly tells Hopfinger to file violations against his campaign so he can be disqualified from the race for K-State student body president.
Kelly, speaker of the student senate and junior in communication studies, has had five violations filed against his campaign to date.
— Patrick Hopfinger (@pjhopfinger) February 20, 2019
“My idea, PJ,” Kelly tells Hopfinger in the video, “Is you file violations against us for three things: we have three people on our team who have been paid for services before by the university or another entity. The first one, and honestly the biggest one, is website development. Victor Valdez is currently employed by K-State to code at the university. He spent over 30 hours working on our website. So you can see how that is definitely a violation right?”
In the video Hopfinger says he could possibly see why this is a violation, but asks Kelly why he would want to file a violation against his own campaign.
“That’s also a good question,” Kelly said. “At this point we’re done. We’ve been paralyzed. We are financially incapable of doing anything realistically. So at this point, we’re looking for a disqualification.”
In response to the video, the Kelly-Spencer campaign released the following statement:
“Our intent was to file these violations proactively after a similar violation from our campaign was brought to our attention,” the statement reads. “I asked Patrick in confidence to do so my behalf [sic] because of concerns raised by members of our campaign. This did not violate any Student Governing Association rules.
Our statement on the recorded private conversation: pic.twitter.com/iUq5LU9PEC
— Kelly Spencer '19 (@KellySpencer_19) February 20, 2019
“We are being so vocal about the very violations we wanted to file because they are a clear sign of the systemic issues that do nothing but hurt the productivity and accessibility of the Student Governing Association. Our campaign began on the platform of Your Vision, Our Mission. Our Mission is to bring these problems to the attention of the student body, no matter the cost.”
Asked if his campaign’s end goal was to be disqualified, Kelly said “the statement speaks for itself.”
Earlier Wednesday, Kelly released a video pushing back against sanctions placed on his campaign for previous violations. In that video, Kelly said his campaign has been held to a higher standard than any candidate’s in the past five years.
“This has kept us from having a fair shot in this election,” Kelly says in the video.
“Simply put, this has gutted our campaign. All we have left are t-shirts and stickers.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Hopfinger said he could see why a violation should be filed, not that he knew why it should be filed.