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Friday, September 30, 2022
<p>Swamp Party presidential candidate Christina Bonarrigo is embraced by her mother after winning the majority of votes to become UF Student Body president at the Reitz Union shortly after midnight Thursday.</p>

Swamp Party presidential candidate Christina Bonarrigo is embraced by her mother after winning the majority of votes to become UF Student Body president at the Reitz Union shortly after midnight Thursday.

UF will have its sixth female Student Body president.

Swamp Party presidential candidate Christina Bonarrigo and vice-presidential candidate Joselyn Rivas won the election with about 66 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, 10,048 students cast votes in Student Government elections. This number is smaller than last Spring’s election, which had one of the highest voter turnouts ever with 10,644 ballots cast.

Bonarrigo and Rivas won the ticket by 3,180 votes. They beat out Students Party presidential candidate Johnny Castillo and his running mate, Jenna Goldman.

Swamp Party treasurer candidate Jayce Victor won the seat by about 66 percent of the vote, beating out Students Party candidate Billy Farrell by 3,232 votes.

A majority vote is needed to win a position, and the election codes do not list a need for a recount unless no candidate captures a majority of the votes.

After hearing she won, Bonarrigo was surrounded with supporters jumping with joy.

“This is the most historic election in the history of UF,” she said. “I’m so honored and humbled.”

Supervisor of Elections Stephen Davis announced the winners shortly after midnight. There were no technical difficulties, he said.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team,” he said. “I was focused on making sure that every student who wanted to vote had the ability to do so.”

Rivas said she was happy for every student who was elected.

“UF is the first university that’s breaking all the boundaries, and I’m proud to be a part of that,” she said.

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Victor said the win was not his personal victory.

“I’ve got a big year ahead of me,” he said.

Castillo said he wanted to thank everyone who participated in the campaign.

“I wanna congratulate Christina, and I know she’ll do an incredible job as Student Body president,” he said.

Goldman is disappointed, she said, but she has to respect the decision of the voters.

“I’m surprised that the margin was this high, shocked actually,” she said.

Students also voted for student senators to represent their college or classification. Swamp Party won 37 seats, and the Students Party won 13 seats. The engineering seat was divided among one Students Party senator and two Swamp Party senators.

Students Party nominated candidates for 40 seats, and the Swamp Party nominated candidates for all 50 seats.

A nonbinding referendum was also on the ballot regarding soft closings of bars. The referendum gauged student opinion on whether they wanted bars to close at 3 a.m. but stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m.

About 90 percent of the people who voted on the referendum voted “yes.” About 900 people opposed it, and no one abstained.

The Election Commission will hear no more complaints regarding the election, said Election Commission Chairwoman Brianne Lewis.

The results of the election are not in effect until the Student Senate validates them Tuesday.

Contact Samantha Shavell at sshavell@alligator.org, Alexa Volland at avolland@alligator.org or Colleen Wright at cwright@alligator.org.

Swamp Party presidential candidate Christina Bonarrigo is embraced by her mother after winning the majority of votes to become UF Student Body president at the Reitz Union shortly after midnight Thursday.

Students Party presidential candidate Johnny Castillo, center right, reacts to the results of the Student Government elections at the Reitz Union on Feb. 20, 2013. The Swamp Party won by 3,180 votes.

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