Martel Senator Ashley Fitzpatrick announces write-in campaign for IVP
On Sunday, Ashley Fitzpatrick, the Martel College Student Association senator, announced a write-in campaign for the internal vice president position in the SA elections, challenging Kendall Vining, former Martel New Student Representative, in a previously uncontested IVP race.
Last year, Fitzpatrick, a sophomore, won against Vining in a race for Martel senator, making this election the second time the two candidates will face off in an SA election. Although Fitzpatrick acknowledged the coincidence of running in a second race against Vining, she said that her decision to run as a write-in candidate was made independently.
“I think that our [SA] senator election was fair and I went into it with the hope that it would be friendly competition with someone I was becoming friends with at the time,” Fitzpatrick said. “I really hope that this contested election isn’t something that could ruin friendly relationships or even civil acquaintances.”
Vining said that she was not aware Fitzpatrick was planning to run, and that she discovered the write-in campaign from a Facebook post.
“I texted the Black community saying ‘Hey everyone, I know I’m running unopposed for SA IVP but Ashley just snuck in a write-in campaign after reaching out to me about ideas and such and telling me over and over she wasn’t going to run,” Vining said.
Fitzpatrick, who said she had been considering the IVP role, said she was hesitant to run for IVP because of the uncompensated nature of the role, but reevaluated her decision after speaking with senators.
“I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to hold a job and work in a paid position as my main time commitment outside of academics,” Fitzpatrick said. “And it really was making me feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to be a part of this if I don’t run for something.’”
The SA election ballot allows voters to rank candidates and write-ins in their order of preference. Fitzpatrick, whose name will not appear on the election ballot, urged audience members at the SA IVP debate to remember to fill in her name on the ballot.
“It’s definitely a very large disadvantage to not be on the official ballot,“ Fitzpatrick said. “If there are multiple people on the [ballot], it’s a lot easier to advocate for yourself and people kind of can recognize your name versus having to produce it themselves.”
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