Jeff Champagne has done something no University of Nevada, Reno student has ever done before—he’s been elected student president twice.
Champagne was reelected with 58.2 percent of the vote, collecting 560 votes out of 962 cast. His opponent, Brad Naughton, received 351, and 51 voted for “none of the above.”
The soft-spoken business major has shown resolve in his official duties over the years. Champagne received 15 minutes of attention in 2004 when he was the student vice president of programming, and he had to face down pressure from downtown businesspeople who wanted him to cancel or alter the format of an appearance by political activist Michael Moore at UNR (“Moore money, less speech,” Oct. 7, 2004).
In October, Champagne vetoed a student senate measure that would have made it easier to win election to student office with fewer votes by eliminating some primary elections, thus increasing the candidates in the general election and reducing the votes needed to win.
In that case, elections board chair Katie Babcock said eliminating primaries would hike voter interest in the general election. Last week, Babcock made that case again, telling the student newspaper that elimination in the presidential primary of Pack Patriot editor Gregory Green and Resident Hall Association president Jared Hostmeyer had driven down general election turnout.
While it is possible, because of the “none of the above” option, to win an election with a plurality instead of a majority, Champagne won a solid majority. If his veto had been overridden, he could have won with far fewer votes.