Sarah Shook and Ryan Kennedy win MSA and GAPSA elections

Shook beat out current MSA President Paul Strain, while Kennedy beat Devin Driscoll.

Luke Feuerherm

Sarah Shook and Brandon Cofield won the Minnesota Student Association on-campus elections, beating out a four-candidate field that included current MSA President Paul Strain. The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly presidential election also concluded Wednesday with winner Ryan Kennedy receiving 52.17 percent of the votes to competitor Devin Driscoll’s 44.64 percent. Shook and Cofield won the first round of instant runoff voting, capturing 38.4 percent of the vote with the second place ticket of Strain and Paul Buchel receiving 27.5 percent. The final round resulted in 58.8 for Shook and Cofield and 41.2 for Strain and Buchel. âÄúI am a little disappointed, but thatâÄôs part of the game,âÄù Strain said. âÄúMs. Shook will take over so sheâÄôll do a fine job.âÄù Voter participation increased from the 696 who voted in last yearâÄôs uncontested election to 3,469 this year. âÄúI see it as a victory for the student body, because of the higher turnout,âÄù Shook said. âÄúAnd for the students who didnâÄôt vote, because we plan to reach out and engage them.âÄù After election results were announced, Shook and Cofield were quick to reach out to their competitors. âÄúWe plan to work with Sarah and hopefully have some of our ideas enacted. We had their campaign manager contact us and said he liked our ideas and he hopes to work with us, so that is promising, âÄúcandidate Andrew Wagner said. âÄúI think Sarah was the next best candidate,âÄù Candidate Cortez Riley shared a similar sentiment. âÄúI stated to Brandon and Sarah that if we didnâÄôt win we wanted them to win, because they would definitely represent us,âÄù he said. âÄúAnd [results] jumped to about 3,500 votes and I think thatâÄôs a victory we all can claim.âÄù GAPSA election winner Ryan Kennedy received 52.17 percent of the vote, and said he was elated to have won. âÄúIt was a long and hard campaign but I am very excited, definitely already looking forward to next year,âÄù Kennedy said. âÄúI am glad that between Devin and I, it was a very respectful campaign. We both fought hard and I am looking forward to working with him next year.âÄù The 7.53 percent margin of victory meant Kennedy received 360 votes, 52 more votes than DriscollâÄôs 308. âÄúI am looking forward to working with Ryan,âÄù Driscoll said. âÄúI am disappointed turnout was so low. We need to do better than that.âÄù Kennedy said that before he begins reaching out to graduate and professional students he must address GAPSAâÄôs potential lack of funding next year. âÄúI am definitely going to work with Kristi [Kremers, current GAPSA president] and Vice Provost [Jerry] Rinehart to make sure that that doesnâÄôt become a reality and making sure that I get plugged into this process immediately because I am going to have to be the one that is going to have to deal with whatever the result is,âÄù he said.