Student Government Association candidates Brian Zagrocki and Alex Bennett are being accused of violating election statutes with catering food at a recent rally, according to an affidavit obtained by KnightNews.com
The affidavit was filed on Friday and accuses Zagrocki and Bennett of catering food for attendees at their rally on Tuesday at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Section 604.2 E of the Election Statutes says, “Only items that are for the sole purpose of education may be distributed during Active Campaigning. Such items include but are not limited to: brochures, pamphlets, stickers, and palm cards. A final proof of each such item must be approved by the Election Commission prior to distribution,” and section 604.2 F says, “At no point can a candidate, group of candidates, ticket, or third party (with the exception of the Election Commission) provide food, drinks, or prizes to voters. Such items shall be considered bribes. This rule applies both on and off university controlled property.”
Zagrocki said the accusation held no merit. He and Bennett provided a written statement signed by the general manager of Buffalo Wild Wings stating they didn’t cater the event in order to disprove the affidavit.
“The food at the campaign rally was purchased at the expense of our attendees, including the tray of wings that were purchased by Alex’s parents during their surprise visit,” Zagrocki said.
Zagrocki said that at no time did they purchase food for their attendees.
“I am very disappointed that some people are trying to falsely attack Alex and I instead of focusing on the students and what we stand for,” Zagrocki said.
He said that they will continue to run a clean campaign and hope this demonstrates the integrity that they will bring to their positions as Student Body President and Vice President, if elected.
A violations hearing will take place April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Pensacola Board Room 222. This hearing will be one day after elections wrap up. Check back for updates to this story.