In a move that UCF SGA presidential candidate Richard Stein compares to a scene out of “House of Cards,” he claims the Brian/Alex ticket tried to pressure him into dropping out of the race for SGA president.
Stein said after he declared his candidacy last Thursday, his running mate Mo Barhamje was contacted just hours later around 1 a.m. Friday morning by the Brian/Alex ticket who asked to meet him at the Reflection Pond on UCF campus.
“At first I don’t really want to because it’s past my bedtime,” said Stein, who added that Barhamje convinced him to go after waking him up with news of the request.
“We both enjoy ‘House of Cards’ so we thought it would be something like that,” said Stein.
When they arrived at the Reflection Pond, Stein said the Brian/Alex ticket tried to convince them to drop out of the race for SGA president.
“Basically they tell us we don’t have a chance because we’re not from SGA and we respond it’s not about that it’s about the votes,” Stein said. “They tell us it’s not about marketing, it’s about the connections, it’s about who you know. They basically told us we don’t have a chance and should drop out.”
Brian Zagrocki didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but after the story was published Zagrocki told KnightNews.com that while a meeting happened, Stein’s statement about the meeting “is not correct.”
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Since the alleged 1 a.m. meeting, Stein has admitted to have taken an unorthodox approach to his campaign by challenging both candidates to a YouTube rap video battle via Twitter.
“I definitely think it’s a little off-brand, but that goes to the point of what type of campaign Mo and I are running,” Stein said.
He said neither have responded to the challenge.
“This is also sort of my declaration of war. My opponents have tried to silence me through political coercion and this was my way of saying I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere,” Stein said.
Stein acknowledges that has no experience within SGA, but does have experience as a Legislative Analyst in the Florida House of Representatives, working as a Business Development Analyst at Lockheed Martin through CWEP and as a Benefit Operations Administrator at Aon Hewitt. He says that he has been studying and analyzing SGA budgets thoroughly to prepare for running for SGA president.
“We’re not the establishment, we’re not the boring, typical SGA people running and we wanted to communicate to the public that we’re different, that we’re new,” Stein said. “I need my name out there, I need people to know my qualifications.”
Stein said he’s comfortable using comedy throughout his campaign and continued the ‘House of Cards’ metaphor.
“I’m just honestly glad he didn’t want to meet us at the Subway station,” Stein said.