It seems I spoke too soon. Much to OTR‘s satisfaction, we should have one more contested race come Week 8, as former suspected Student Activities candidate Chris Etheridge has chosen instead to run for Democracy and Services, setting him up against former Goodricke Chair Dan Walker, it has emerged.
Etheridge’s candidacy change comes just after Student Action Chair Rachel Hesselwood threw her hat into the Student Activities race, bringing the total expected candidates breifly to five.
Currently YUSU Campaigns Officer with Jason Rose, Etheridge was previously set to take on Nick Scarlett, Luke Malkin, Katie Unsworth and Hesselwood, but now looks likely to square off against Walker for Lewis Bretts’ position, with nominations opening a week today.
OTR has heard that Etheridge – after discussions with SA incumbent Rhianna Kinchin – felt his experience was better suited to the demands of D&S. Etheridge, much lauded for his time as treasurer of both York Tories and Politics Society is likely to push his work as Campaigns Officer as strong experience of the inner workings of YUSU, the University, and event organisation.
Hesselwood’s candidacy adds some much-needed oestrogen to the general election landscape, and with her Student Action experience she will certainly have the knowledge to run a strong policy-focused campaign. In terms of taking votes from other candidates, Nick Scarlett will have been expecting strong Student Action support, and Katie Unsworth’s RAG backing might suffer a little. Likewise, Luke Malkin will now have to fight for the Vanbrugh vote. Scarlett and Unsworth, from Halifax and Alcuin respectively, are likely to get a strong boost from their colleges, IMO.
Scarlett’s campaign, run by the veteran election machine Tom Flynn, is off and running already, OTR has learnt, and the man himself told me that it was shaping up to be “lively” – whatever that means. Expect the usual (and, it must be said, successful and coveted) Flynn tactics, I’d imagine.
In other news, a few candidates have spoken to OTR regarding a possible rise in the value of the candidate budget sanctioned by YUSU for campaign spending. Returning Officer Bretts was unable to confirm or deny this rumour, but I reckon any significant increase in permitted spends would be met with resistance by those that would see it as a possible barrier to entry. Maybe someone with influence wants more shiny posters? Watch this space.
And finally, just in case you had sat for hours watching YUSU Officers playing with Elmo and talking about all the exciting things they get to do all day, thinking it would actually be entertaining, here’s the bloopers reel.
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The opinions expressed above are not representative of either those of Nouse, or of YUSU. They are the speculations and personal views of the author who is not a member of the editorial team, and should be treated as such.