Election Results: Total (# of absentee ballots in parenthesis)
Hagner: 6 (0)
Massey: 89 (6)
Stullich: 203 (6)
Argon: 62 (12)
Cook: 141 (4)
Lynch: 24 (3)
Stephanie Stullich and Mary Cook are the confirmed winners of Tuesday’s election – marking the end of a surprisingly eventful special election. Long time resident Mary Cook, 50, prevailed over 3-year resident and student Nick Aragon. This even with the Mayor’s surprise last minute endorsement of him and his far superior financing (reportedly $2000 to Cook’s $150). Aragon, 24, was constantly and inaccurately labeled as a “student candidate” and his campaign was dogged by questionable reporting in the city paper (1,2) and even childish and “vicious” campaign tricks.
What began with the ascension of two longtime CP politicians to higher office ended with little fanfare, 2 new city residents on the council, and most of the city either gone or unaware any election had taken place at all. Between the primaries way back in September, when the special election was ensured, all the way to last Tuesday, we witnessed: a city council which (whether by design or by accident) waited until they had no choice but to hold the special election with half the city’s population out of town (the student half), student leadership which failed to put up even the smallest fight over the election date, an impressive but apparently futile student absentee ballot initiative (Aragon got 12 absentee votes), an unprecedented endorsement of a student by the Mayor, and even my own short-lived bid for the District 3 seat.
While it’s difficult to hide our distaste for the circumstances surrounding the election, we’re looking forward to an eventful year in College Park. We’ll be particularly interested to see the winning candidates live up to their promises of building a vibrant college town and ensuring greater ties to the university community. November, after all, isn’t that far off .