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"Harris beats Barganier in presidential race"
The Crimson White
February 1, 1985


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story was compiled by CW staff members Carl Cronan, Sara Diamond, Jan Crawford, Mike Brantley, and Jennifer Mellichamp

Collecting 57.1 percent of the vote in Thusday’s SGA presidential elections, George Harris defeated independent opponent Joe Barganier to secure presidency of the SGA.

“This is the happiest moment of my life,” Harris said moments after election results were announced in Ferguson Theater Thursday night.

Harris, who received 2,311 votes to Barganier’s 1,735, was surrounded by family members and other supporters after the results were announced to the crowd.

“I’LL make you this promise that I won’t break,” he said. “I’m going to work harder than anyone ever could. I’m going to give 110 percent every day. I just hope so much now that we can put aside our political differences and come together.

“I’m very fortunate that the good Lord has given me the opportunity to serve this year,” he added.

Despite thundershowers that may have kept many students from the polls, voter turnout was higher than usual for this year’s elections, with 4,273 students casting ballots.

Barganier, who received 42.9 percent of the vote, said he might have had a better chance against Harris if the weather had not held back so many voters. “When it rains, you can’t do a whole lot about it,” he said.

EVEN though bargainer lost his bid for the presidency, he said he, along with other concerned independents, would continue working to make sure the SGA is responsive to the needs of students.

“We’re not going to stop,” he said. “We’ll start working tomorrow to make sure that the SGA is representative of the entire student body. It it’s not, we’ll be there to tell the new president and help him out.”

Barganier said his campaign served a real purpose, despite losing an election to what he called “an organization that’s controlled the SGA for over 70 years.”

“Like I said before I ran, I was in this for a cause. We elected approximately 10 non-Machine candidates, and that’s good,” he said. “We’ll start working tomorrow to ensure that next year there will be more non-Machine senators in the senate.”

HARRIS said he and vice president-elect John Merrill will meet Monday to start organizing a constitutional reform committee. “We will follow through with that immediately,” he said.

Barganier said he hopes he will be able to work with Harris in some capacity in the SGA. “It depends on how many Machine people he’s going to appoint to positions,” he said. “I want to see what his cabinet is going to look like first.”

Harris said applications will be accepted beginning tomorrow for positions in his administration.

Joey Scarborough, a candidate who withdrew from the SGA presidential race Tuesday night, called the election results “a joke,” saying they “do nothing but strengthen the Machine’s grip on the SGA.

“The election results prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything I said during the campaign was correct,” Scarborough said. “George Harris had so much money behind him, even Barganier’s organization and my campaign platform couldn’t have beaten him.”

Scarborough said he plans to run again next year, using much the same platform he used in his recent campaign.

“We’ll put together a platform that money and dirty tactics can’t beat,” he said. “Luckily, I won’t have to change my campaign literature, because the figures remain the same.”