By Matt Clark
On Friday March 30, all candidates for the 2018 Brockport Student Government presidential election dropped out of the race. The candidates for the race were Josh Mathews and Alena Piska, Jack Merritt and Mars Lee and Tyler Mackey and Jacob Szalapski, all running for the positions of president and vice president respectively. Matthews and Piska had dropped out of the race before March 30.
“Alena and I were running on a ticket, so I took out a petition with Alena and we got our signatures and we turned it in. Once you turn in a petition and the petition period ends your locked in with that person. So if either party decides they don’t want to do it anymore, then both parties effectively drop out immediately,” Mathews said.
Since all candidates had dropped out, BSG began accepting new petitions for candidates, meaning that Mathews had the opportunity to run for president once again, this time with Kate Demskie as his running mate.
“First, we must complete a petitioning period and then we must attend a pre-election meeting, after that we will hopefully be candidates,” Mathews said. “Life is an exciting whirlwind of possibilities right now!”
One thing that Mathews, Merritt and Mackey have in common is that they were forced to drop out of the race because their running mates decided to drop out.
“My former running mate Mars Lee decided to drop out. I did not make that decision,” Merritt said. “At this moment, my campaign team and I are exploring a possible running mate, but at this time we cannot confirm or deny a possible running mate, or if I will even run.”
Lee was not available to comment.
“I didn’t necessarily drop out, my VP dropped out, and so I could no longer run,” said Mackey.
Mackey’s former running mate, Szalapski, said it was “personal/family reasons that were sudden and unexpected and out of my control, and are complicated and difficult to explain.” Mackey still plans on petitioning with another running mate.
Despite the turmoil the election is facing, current BSG President Elisha Madison has advice for all the candidates that are considering running.
“Make as many connections as possible so that you can have a good idea of the students that they are going to be the voice of,” Madison said. “It is a little mind boggling that the position is something that is intended to be the voice for all 8,000 plus students on this campus, so you need to be able to constantly be getting input from people you may have never met. I am still gaining new perspectives even now at this point of the year that is helping me understand how we should most effectively move the organization forward.”