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YMS Gets Exercise in Democracy

Ken MClemore

HOPE – Yerger Middle School Principal Mike Radebaugh was beaming as the YMS student body conducted its first virtual student council election… and, the votes poured in.

“We are over 100 votes in, and the top two are within one vote,” Radebaugh said of the race for student council president. “The presidential race was very close.”

Four students vied for president, including Lynda Pacheco, Jared Salazar, Luna Almazon, and Jayden Johnson.

“One person must get more than 50 percent of the vote,” Radebaugh said.

None of the four presidential candidates topped 50 percent; so, Radebaugh called for a runoff.

“This is how our elections work in local and national politics, as well,” he said. “Like the NFL and other professional sports have been advertising on television, every vote counts.”

Ultimately, Pacheco received 50.8 percent of the vote, while Salazar tallied 49.2 percent.

“There was a difference of two votes,” Radebaugh said. “Both candidates showed mutual respect and professionalism through the process.”

Vice presidential candidates included Chloe Bittle and Leeann Ross, with Ross gaining 62.8 percent of the vote in that race.

Jaquarrius Burton was the only candidate for student council secretary.

JaKari Johnson, the only candidate for eighth grade representative, Salazar, Bittle, Almazan and Jayden Johnson will serve as eighth grade representatives, while A’mauria Neal was the sole seventh grade representative candidate.

“I’m happy we did this. Democracy is a wonderful thing,” Radebaugh said.

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