Dowd, Koger win primary election, continues prioritizing students

(Photo courtesy of Tegan Brandt)

Michael Dowd, senior in animal science and global food systems leadership, and Cameron Koger, junior in marketing, took a 516-vote lead against their opponents in the primary SGA elections.

The duo accumulated a total of 1280 votes.

“We can celebrate tonight and make sure that we’re giving ourselves a lot of credit and patting ourselves on the back for the hard work we’ve done, but also for us to stay hungry and work towards the future,” Dowd said.

Vedant Kulkarni, international affairs director and senior in management information systems and mass communications, said he and Maggie Billman, speaker pro tempore and sophomore in secondary education, will focus on outreach to organizations and increasing social media engagement for the next two weeks.

Their team received 764 votes in the primary election.

Kulkarni said the support from multicultural organizations across campus is the most successful aspect of his team’s campaign.

“I am an international student, so you know our campaign represents a diverse population on campus,” Kulkarni said. “That has been extremely successful, I believe.”

Throughout the campaign, Koger and Dowd wanted to spread awareness that voting for them wasn’t just a vote for Dowd, student body presidential candidate, but a vote for both of.

“My name being the only one on the ballot doesn’t differentiate the fact that we’re both in this together,” Dowd said. “Our job is to be a duo and to work well together and we’re very passionate about making sure that is the highlight and focal point of this campaign.”

Together, the duo wants students to feel comfortable bringing up tough topics so they can learn and grow.

One of the campaign goals was to receive 158 ideas from students to help improve K-State, which they still promote.

“We got some [feedback] that really dove into what students were expecting with this and also gave us some really helpful feedback,” Dowd said.

Koger said winning the primary election feels jubilant.

“It’s another step towards actually getting into office, but it also just feels very humbling that over 1100 students would vote for Michael,” Koger said. “That really says a lot about the type of individual that he is, and really reinforces my belief that I have in him that he was able to do so well.”

Dowd said one of the biggest changes for their campaign was when the duo started connecting and talking individually with their core teammates.

“We really wanted to make sure that we weren’t just coming up with initiatives and ideas,” Dowd said. “We wanted to make sure that those were going to be initiatives and support from actual students instead of us just coming up with those ideas ourselves.”

From there, things started falling into place.

“Starting tomorrow until the general election, we’re going to be tabling every day,” Koger said. “We want to have conversations with people that aren’t in our sphere and really get to hear their story and to make a genuine connection.”

The duo said they will spend these next couple of weeks working hard with their campaign. They were unable to table in person, so they tabled virtually.

“This is just a stepping stone and we are far from being over,” Dowd said. “This is going to be a marathon regardless of how the election goes because it is our goal to be here for students and to make a difference on this campus.”

“This is what wakes me up in the morning,” Koger said. “I am so excited.”

Kulkarni said it is important that people keep up with both campaigns that are qualified for the general election to make their voting decision.

“I know we have lower enrollment right now and a little less people and everything is so virtual, but we need people to go out and vote, no matter who they vote for,” Kulkarni said. “It’s important that they make their voices heard.”

The general election opens to voters March 9 and closes at 6 p.m. March 10.