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Top ASUA office race costs $4K

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 11, 1999
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ASUA 1999 Election Campaign

executive level offices

Cisco Aguilar,
finance and accounting senior,
presidential candidate
Greg Kugler,
finance junior,
presidential candidate
Caitlein Ryan,
theater arts junior,
presidential candidate
Benjamin Graff,
psychology and political science sophomore,
executive vice presidential candidate
Kelly Dalton,
political science sophomore,
administrative vice presidential candidate
Viviane Safrin,
psychology, English lit. and history sophomore,
administrative vice presidential candidate

ASUA officials last night lamented a desolate primary election ballot and its legacy for the student body.

A list released by Associated Students Elections Commissioner Anthony Hill revealed that only people running for president will compete in the Feb. 23 primaries. That election will cost ASUA between $3,500 to $4,000.

"In all reality, it doesn't matter except for the presidential candidates," Hill said.

ASUA Executive Vice President Cisco Aguilar will run for president, along with University Activities Board President Caitlein Ryan and finance junior Greg Kugler.

Hill called the situation "severe," at the ASUA senate meeting last night.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "I'm at a loss for words."

Hill said keeping the primaries will help avoid any post-election scandals.

"We felt it was the easiest thing to do because we felt we might face legal challenges from some candidates," he said. "What might have been illegal is not having a primary."

Aguilar, who last year moved up from a position as senator to his current VP post, said he wants to make positive changes despite public opinion of the Associated Students.

"I think ASUA has always had a bad reputation," Aguilar said. "I think I've made positive changes."

ASUA Sen. Ben Graff is the sole candidate for executive vice president.

But Graff said he will not let the automatic win stop him from campaigning.

"I'm full force," Graff said. "I still need to let students know who I am. In future years, I hope we will have much more participation."

Arizona Students Association Director Kelly Dalton and Viviane Safrin, ASUA's community development director, are running for administrative vice president. Their race will be inconsequential in the primary election without a third candidate to challenge the women.

The presidential hopefuls listed a variety of issues that they plan to tackle.

Kugler, a surprise candidate, said he wants to save the UA's Gallagher Theatre from its pending demolition, and offer free condoms in fraternities, sororities and residence halls.

He said Aguilar's long-standing commitment to ASUA does not concern him.

"ASUA has sort of a bad reputation all over so I think it might hurt his campaign" Kugler said.

Ryan said her role in the University Activities Board allowed her to stay clear of ASUA's core.

"I have an opportunity to come at it as a student who's not a member of the organization," she said.

Ryan said she plans to make sure students have a voice in the Memorial Student Union construction plans, adding that she also wants a left-turn arrow installed at the North Park Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard traffic light.

But Aguilar said his experience makes him the best candidate.

"I think I can run it in an efficient manner from the start," he said. "There are a lot of issues that I think I have that are tangible."

Aguilar said that on-line voting in ASUA elections is "feasible for next year," and he said issues that the Senate handled this year will be equally important next semester.

Improving student child care and finding ways around the Main Library's printing fees are two of Aguilar's key issues.

"Gosh, they really kicked us in the ass with that (the printing fee)," Aguilar said.

Fifteen prospective senators also declared their candidacy, with no incumbents included in the pool.