Kamar Mack (COL ’19) and Jessica Andino (COL ’18) won the Georgetown University Student Association election early this morning, narrowly defeating Garet Williams (COL ’18) and Habon Ali (COL ’18) by 34 votes, the closest margin in recent electoral history.
Mack and Andino received 50.74 percent — 1,160 votes — in the final round, with Williams and Ali receiving 49.26 percent — 1,126 votes.
The Mack-Andino ticket, which ran with the vision of “A Fresh GUSA,” focused on making a Georgetown education more affordable, improving mental health resources and spurring entrepreneurship on campus.
Both Mack and Andino joined GUSA two semesters ago in the spring of 2016. Mack was the only sophomore candidate in a race of three other junior presidential candidates.
Mack currently serves as secretary of Local Education Affairs within the Federal Relations Committee while Andino is the chair of the Undocumented Student Policy Team.
Upon hearing the result, Mack and his campaign headed to the White House after a short celebration in Ryan Hall and Freedom Hall.
At Monday evening’s GUSA presidential debate, John Matthews (COL ’18) and Nick Matz (COL ’18) announced their ticket and Mack-Andino had cross-endorsed one another. Matthews and Matz were eliminated in the third round of voting last night, after earning 686 votes.
The election was competitive through all four rounds of voting, with Williams and Ali leading through the first three rounds of voting. The Williams-Ali ticket led with 958 votes, followed by Mack and Andino with 829 votes at the end of the third round.
Jenny Franke (COL ’18) and Jack McGuire (COL ’18), who did not participate in either of the GUSA debates and did not have an official platform, were the first official ticket to be eliminated with 94 votes. Williams and Ali led with 929 votes, followed by Mack and Andino with 808 votes and Matthews and Matz with 658 votes.
Thirty-eight percent of the student body voted in the election, with a voter turnout of 2,557 votes cast, surpassing the 2,388 votes in 2016. The all-time election record is 3,733 voters from the 2013 election.
Mack said he is ready to start working as GUSA president after a challenging campaign.
“I’m feeling really good. We’ve gone through a lot as a team. We’ve faced a lot of challenges but we came out on top and it feels good,” Mack said. “There’s a lot we have to do. The work starts now.”
Current GUSA President Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) said Mack and Andino’s policy has the potential to create real change at Georgetown.
“The three major campaigns ran bearing in mind a lot of policy, and changes they wanted, and regardless whatever happens next is going to be exciting,” Khan said. “Kamar and Jessica have some really cool ideas on student health in particular, and I hope to come back as an alum and see some of the things they’re proposing be implemented.”
Ali said despite her ticket’s loss, the inclusive message of their ticket will have a lasting impact.
“I tell to every single person who voted for us, ‘Don’t forget what you wanted, you believed in that message, going to every community that you come from and really making that difference,’” Ali said. “It’s about grassroots work and it’s really putting that effort in from the start.”
The polls opened at 11 p.m. Wednesday, following two weeks of campaigning starting Feb. 9. The campaign season was marked by GUSA outsider candidates in Matthews and Matz and a focus on affordability issues at Georgetown.
The Hoya conducted a door-to-door poll of 535 students Tuesday evening, with Williams and Ali holding a 13.8 percent lead over Mack and Andino. 42.2 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for Williams and Ali, followed by 28.4 percent saying they planned to vote for Mack and Andino.
Matthews said he is happy for Mack and Andino, especially in light of the tickets’ cross-endorsement.
“Our cross-endorsement worked,” Matthews said. “Great to see they came out on top.”
The GUSA election commission hand-counted all votes after the license for the software they used expired. However, according to GUSA Election Commissioner Grady Willard (COL ’18), the election proceeded normally.
“Write-ins always affect the procedure, it’s so much easier to count without them. It always takes more time, but there wasn’t anything unusual about write-ins,” Willard said.
According to current GUSA Vice President Chris Fisk (COL ’17), he and Khan are committed to a smooth transition between executive leadership.
“Regardless of who would have won tonight, Enushe and I are going to spend the next month doing our very best to prepare them to take on the role for the next year,” Fisk said.
Looking forward to the next year, Mack said he hopes his and Andino’s vision for GUSA can bring the university together.
“We want to make everyone feel like they’re welcome,” Mack said. “We want to bring resources for all. We want to deliver on what we’ve been talking about and rally the people around our vision.”
Hoya Staff Writers Jeff Cirillo, Joe Egler, Ben Goodman, Yasmine Salam and Marina Tian contributed to reporting.