Unite LSU’s presidential candidate John Woodard and vice presidential candidate Taylor Parks are now the Student Government’s president- and vice president-elect after Monday’s second round of voting.
Woodard and Parks received 2,857 votes, or 62.7 percent, while Impact LSU’s presidential and vice presidential candidates T Graham S. Howell and Kaitlin Torké received 1,700 votes, or 37.3 percent.
SG Commissioner of Elections Aimeé Simon announced Tuesday afternoon there was a total of 4,658 students — about 17 percent of the student population — who voted in this election.
In the original March 12 election, Woodard and Parks defeated Howell and Torké by a 20 percent margin.
Woodard said he is excited that the election is now over.
“We are thrilled that we finally have some closure on this election season,” Woodard said.
He said now that the election is over, he and Parks can start planning for their administration.
“Now it’s time for us to get to work immediately,” Woodard said. “We are excited to work towards building SG back up and making sure we’re in a good place next year.”
Parks said she is ready to begin working for the student body.
“I am really excited, and I can’t express how incredibly humbled and honored I am to serve as the next student body vice president,” Parks said.
The newly elected candidates will be sworn in April 17.
The second SG election came after a series of University Court hearings that resulted in the decision to hold another election.
Howell said he still had reservations about the fairness of this season’s election cycle.
“Unfortunately, when the integrity of an election is compromised, like it was the first go-around, we didn’t solve anything by having it done a second time,” Howell said.
He said he had a feeling the election would turn out the way it did.
“Going into this election, we knew it would turn out like this,” Howell said. “But we stuck with it and tried to lead the ticket we set out to create, and I think we did that as strongly as we could.”
One person at Unite LSU’s side during the entire election season was Joe Gipson, who acted as an adviser during the numerous UCourt hearings.
Gipson said he’s glad that after the multiple UCourt hearings, Unite LSU still won the election.
“I’m just ecstatic,” Gipson said. “With 1,100 votes again, I couldn’t be happier with the student body.”
Howell said he wishes Woodard and Parks well.
“Regardless of the outcome, good luck to John and Taylor,” Howell said. “They have a big year ahead of them.”
Howell said there is still work to be done at the University, and he and Torké will “take a step back,” then plan their next moves for how they will work to serve the student body’s interests out of office.