Less than two days after officially launching their campaign for UGBC president and executive vice president, Michael Moazampour and Robert Watt, both A&S ’16, dropped out of the race late Tuesday morning in order to support the team of Nanci Fiore-Chettiar and Chris Marchese, both A&S ’15.
“Throughout these two weeks, we have gotten to know the opponents quite well, so much so that Robert Watt and I are stepping out of the presidential campaign in full support of Nanci and Chris,” said a statement posted to Moazampour’s Facebook wall at around 11 a.m.
This latest development in an election that was initially uncontested leaves two teams vying for students’ votes. Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese were originally the only candidates who filed for the election by the initial Jan. 16 deadline. In coordination with Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese, however, the Elections Committee (EC) extended the deadline. One week later, two more teams declared their candidacy- Lucas Levine and Vance Vergara, both A&S ’15, and Moazampour and Watt.
Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese and Levine and Vergara rallied their supporters at the EC’s campaign kick-off event on Sunday evening. Moazampour and Watt, however, turned out few supporters-they received no votes in the straw poll at the conclusion of the event.
“Nanci and Chris continuously impressed us with both their friendliness, humility, knowledge, and passion,” Moazampour said in an email. “We considered the impact of our running, and found that splitting the vote, especially our strong sophomore base, would be unjust to such kind hearted people. If anyone deserves it the most this year, it is Nanci and Chris.”
According to Marchese, Moazampour and Watt reached out to him and Fiore-Chettiar on Monday night to inform them that they were dropping out of the race and that they would be endorsing their team.
“Nanci and Chris seem very genuine in their interests for running,” said Moazampour. “They have had a clean race, and I have personally witnessed their kindness without them realizing. They are truly inspiring. Their knowledge is a large asset that is necessary for the betterment of UGBC.”
Moazampour and Watt said that they hope to integrate their ideas and perspectives with Fiore-Chettiar and Marchese’s message, and that they will actively work on their campaign.
“I believe their endorsement of us shows that they entered this race not for the titles, but for the students,” Marchese said in a statement. “They openly state that they don’t want to split the sophomore vote, which would hurt our vision. This proves they [were] in the race for the right reasons.”
Matt Alonsozana, the current UGBC executive vice president and A&S ’14, said that their dropping out of the race shows how difficult it is for underclassmen candidates to gain strong support and momentum in an election that features two junior teams.
“We will actively participate on Nanci and Chris’ campaign because in doing so we are helping out the student body and the progress of our school as a whole,” Moazampour said.
Campaigning will continue on campus throughout the week and in residence halls on days specified by the EC.