Open People’s Party candidate Jared Goldschen will be the new Associated Students president next year, after defeating his runoff opponent, Romy Frazier, by 58 percent.
Goldschen and opponents Frazier of Students’ Party and Jake Lehman of Chilla Vista had to wait until Friday morning for the final results, as no candidate received more than 50 percent plus one of the votes. Because they received the most votes, a runoff election was held between Goldschen and Frazier. Goldschen, a third-year business economics major, will be sworn into office at the last A.S. Legislative Council meeting on May 31.
In the runoff, the second choice votes of those who, as first choice, selected Lehman were used to determine the winner. Goldschen initially received 1,979 votes, and then received 238 of the second choice votes. Frazier initially garnered 1,351 votes, with 246 of second choice votes. Lehman received a total of 710 votes.
“I was excited; it was really difficult not finding out until the next morning, but it was awesome getting that news,” Goldschen said. “I thought it was a very well-fought fight for all three candidates. I was impressed with just how many votes each got. It shows how strong of leaders they are. I’m looking forward to talking to them and working with them on their goals.”
In addition to working with the council, Goldschen said he looks forward to increasing students’ personal connection to the university.
“The main thing is just bringing students closer to UCSB,” he said. “We’re going to do that through trying to secure more funding for alternative programming – social programming. … We want people to rally around UCSB; make them more proud to be a Gaucho.”
Meanwhile, Frazier, a third-year global studies and Asian American studies major, said that, while she was disappointed she lost, she plans to stay active in student government and in the campaigns to which she has dedicated herself.
“I’m going to have a life next year, which is going to be fun,” Frazier said jokingly.
However, Frazier said she remains concerned with Goldschen’s goals and lack of experience in A.S.
“I’m not so much upset about the fact that I lost, but I’m extremely disappointed about the intentions of [Goldschen],” Frazier said. “He has no idea what A.S. does. … I’m really excited that Students’ Party [won most Leg Council seats]. … Even though they don’t have the leadership that they wanted, they’ll be strong next year.”
Frazier said she feels like Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante after he lost to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall election, as she feels more qualified, but had a more media-savvy opponent. She said she thinks the Daily Nexus’s endorsement significantly helped Goldschen’s campaign, as well those of the other endorsed candidates.
In addition, Frazier said she thinks Goldschen had significant exposure through the Flush – a Residence Hall Association publication that is posted on the back of residence hall bathroom doors. Goldschen is this and last year’s RHA president, and writes a paragraph next to his picture on every issue of the Flush.
Frazier said she thinks students paid more attention to Goldschen’s image than to the actual campaign issues.
“No one really pays attention because there’s no way this could have happened if they had been paying attention…” she said. “If there’s ever been a year where [Leg Council] needs to hold the president accountable, it’s this year.”
Lehman, a fourth-year global studies major, said he called to congratulate Goldschen on his victory and thinks he will do well as president.
“I was really happy with my campaign,” Lehman said. “It was a tough fight.”
Lehman said he has received a scholarship, with a $2,100 monthly stipend, to the London School of Economics and will attend in the fall. He said he learned he received the scholarship on April 20 and is pleased to have the option of accepting the scholarship, now that the election is over.
However, Lehman said his work for Chilla Vista, a community festival to be held June 4 and the origin of his party name, is yet to be completed. The location of the festival has been moved from Del Playa Drive to People’s Park and Embarcadero Hall. Chilla Vista is now a recognized student group through the Office of Student Life.
Goldschen said he would remain open to the goals of all students, including his opponents.
“I’m looking forward to next year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning. I’m looking forward to representing the student body.”