4 Seats on Ballot in Winter Senate Battle
Eight percent of voting power in the Student Association senate will change early next semester.
Nearly a handful of seats are expected to be up for grabs in a February special election following resignations and pending exits. So far, vacancies will include two slots won earlier this semester and two grabbed last semester.
Dejourae Williams, transferring to Florida International University, and Patrick Carroll, taking an executive board seat, both resigned; Amanda Goldfine, graduating in December, and Logan Losito, taking an internship in Washington D.C., will not enter the next legislative session come spring.
Losito, a junior, will be the second Indian Quad representative in less than a year to not end a senate term. Josh Sadigh, one of two Indian Quad representatives last fall, left senate after falling under the cloud of an ethics probe. His seat was filled by Alexander O’Leary in a spring special election.
“I don’t want to put a word in for past senators because I don’t know what happened, but at least for Logan, he’s trying to be making a change around here, be making an impact,” said Kenny Barrera, an Indian Quad senator who advocated for Losito in the September elections. “But I think consistency definitely is important.”
Losito, who had three consecutive failed senate runs before winning a living area seat in September, plans to run for senate again next academic year.
Like Losito, Williams failed to gain a senate seat last fall.
Leaving UAlbany, Williams in a message called her exit to FIU a “leap of faith.” Transferring to FIU, Williams had the shortest experience in the senate of any representative elected before September.
Of the four, Goldfine is the longest consistently seated SA member. She won an Empire Commons seat alongside Andalib Anwar in fall of 2016. Goldfine ran again in the spring senator-at-large race on a largely Phi Alpha Delta member-heavy ticket.
With vacancies for both Williams and Goldfine come February, only Raymond Strawn, a former president of the Columbia Greene Community College Student Senate, has declared interest in running for a senator-at-large or off-campus seat.
In the Indian Quad race, Andrew Clabo and Petra Holness are the only September candidates to confirm interest in Losito’s seat so far.
Gabe Flaten, who ran for senator-at-large in April and Indian Quad earlier this semester, said he would weigh the possibility of another run as the special election draws nearer.
Meanwhile, Cristal Marrero, a former senator-at-large, has ruled out another run to reclaim office. She and Jacinda Mayfield-Perez are the only former SA office holders that have dismissed a special election run to the Albany Student Press.
As an EMT, Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program trainee, and full time student, Marrero believes another term would be difficult to manage.
“I definitely considered running, but have since then decided it is not in my best interest,” said Marrero in an email.
Marrero captured senator-at-large in the broadest race of the special election last January, defeating now-University Council representative Alondra Berroa. In April, she failed to secure re-election by 85 votes.
Unlike Marrero, Mayfield-Perez, and O’Leary, Carroll remained in senate after the spring. About a month after taking back a senate seat in the September off-campus race, Carroll was confirmed as deputy comptroller.
Prior to Carroll assuming the role, SA was over a month without a deputy comptroller. After Michael Spellane resigned as comptroller on Sept. 15, Nick Hackshaw, a former deputy comptroller, took interim (and later permanent) reigns over the SA finance office.
With Carroll as ranking member of the appropriations committee, Jarrett Altilio, senate chair, considered his resignation most prominent.
“There’s a loss for the senate, maybe, but not a loss for the executive board,” he said.