Keenan-Devlin wins runoff race

Jason B. Gumer

It seems grassroots campaigning is the way to go.

Earning about 56 percent of ballots cast, Music junior Patrick Keenan-Devlin defeated Weinberg junior Prajwal Ciryam by 296 votes in an Associated Student Government presidential runoff election Thursday.

“This feels good, this really feels good,” he said. “I found out during the Take Back the Night event at The Rock. It really put it in perspective why I am running: it is for the students.”

According to McCormick senior Gabe Matlin, ASG election commissioner, Keenan-Devlin led most of the day with the margin of difference ranging from “300 to a little bit bigger.”

“I’m a little surprised, I was expecting (Prajwal) to win,” Matlin said.

Poll numbers were leaked to candidates during the day, he said.

“Certain people who had access were telling people,” Matlin said. “There were a few people I told … In my opinion it is not secret confidential information at all and I gave the information to anyone who asked me.”

At least three people received the information, Matlin said. Communication junior and outgoing ASG Student Services Vice President Alex Lurie, Communication senior and former Speaker of the Senate Matt Hall and Medill junior and former Daily development editor Alex Pegg.

Lurie said he told both candidates where they stood around 4 p.m.

“When I heard things, I just talked to both candidates to make sure that they knew what was going on,” Lurie said.

When asked if he was told poll standings during the day, Hall said, “No, definitely not. You can’t find out that information.”

Hall refused to comment later when confronted with Matlin’s statement.

In his campaign, Keenan-Devlin stressed his underdog status. He campaigned on a four-part platform of improving Counseling and Psychological Services and STD testing, ASG reform, town-gown relations and transportation.

“I was very pleased to see the margin,” Keenan-Devlin said. “My staff worked so hard today to convince students that we are the team to reform ASG. Their hard work paid off tonight.”

Keenan-Devlin spoke with Ciryam on the phone following the official results.

“He was very cordial,” Keenan-Devlin said. “He urged me to make health care a top priority and make ASG more representative of the student body.”

He spoke about goals for the start of his term.

“The first thing will be reforming ASG,” he said. “Nothing on any candidate’s platform can be accomplished without reforming the organization by making it more transparent.”

Ciryam congratulated Keenan-Devlin on his victory and said he learned a lot during his campaign.

“We didn’t totally lose here,” he said. “I didn’t know there were problems with health services, I didn’t know the Multi-Cultural Center needed restructuring. We gained some knowledge.”

Reach Jason B. Gumer at [email protected]