Runoff efforts get personal

ason B. Gumer

It’s time for some good ol’ grassroots campaigning.

Both Music junior Patrick Keenan-Devlin and Weinberg junior Prajwal Ciryam made this message clear Wednesday as they prepared for Thursday’s runoff election.

“Right now our focus is to talk to students as much as possible,” Ciryam’s campaign manager Rohan Sharma said. “People have heard the endorsements, seen the flyers and now we have to get back to the grassroots.”

In Tuesday’s election, Keenan-Devlin received 31.6 percent of the votes. That’s 136 more than Ciryam, who received 27.2 percent.

“We were really excited last night, but now it’s back to reality,” said Keenan-Devlin’s campaign manager Tasneem Chithiwala, a Medill sophomore. “Now it is about really reaching out to people and showing them who Patrick really is.”

Both candidates said they had contacted their four other opponents to thank them for keeping personal attacks out of the race.

“I have spoken to them all individually to thank them for an energetic and clean campaign,” said Keenan-Devlin. “This is not similar to a U.S. Senate election, so I do not feel it would be appropriate for me to be as grubby as to ask for endorsements.”

Third-place finisher Ketica Guter said she would not endorse either candidate.

“There are things on each candidates platform which I like, and I encourage both of them to finish strong,” Guter said. “I won’t endorse one or the other; I’d rather just let the students decide.”

But Keenan-Devlin emphasized his multicultural work with the Sheil Catholic Center.

“I don’t appreciate Prajwal’s campaign saying that we are going to lose Ketica’s votes just due to the fact that diversity is mentioned in his platform,” Keenan-Devlin said.

Ciryam held a campaign event in front of Norris University Center on Tuesday afternoon. Standing on the roof of Norris, he rallied about seven supporters.

“We must shatter the bitterness of the status quo, the remnants of injustice,” said Ciryam. “When we see promises not fulfilled, we will stand up and call for justice.”

Keenan-Devlin said he would be focusing on person-to-person campaigning.

“I don’t believe rallies win elections,” he said. “Connecting to people one-on-one is how you are going to prove to them you are a legitimate candidate. I don’t plan to stand on the roof of Norris.”

The Daily’s Spencer Kallick contributed to this report.

Reach Jason Gumer at [email protected]