Martinez/Gibson ticket removed from SGA elections for campaign violations



Christian Martinez, right, and Aidan Gibson, left, campaign for SGA president and vice president respectively during a Peace Quad campaign event. The pair was disqualified from the SGA race after being found guilty of multiple campaign violations.

Rose Wagner

Christian Martinez and Aidan Gibson, two freshmen who were running for SGA president and vice president respectively, have been disqualified from the race for multiple campaign violations.

The violations began last week when the ticket was sanctioned after their campaign stickers were found on washing machines in Buddig Hall. While the candidates said they did not know who put the stickers on the property, the SGA Elections Commission found them in violation of campaign rules.

“They are accountable for how their direct supporters misuse campaign materials given to them by the campaign if the use is in direct violation of the SGA Elections Code,” Femi Adegoke, SGA Commissioner of Elections 2021, said in the commission’s ruling.

The Elections Commission ruled that Martinez and Gibson were required to remove the stickers.

The commission also investigated a claim that the campaign had held events that violated COVID safety guidelines, although no evidence was provided to the commission and no violation was found.

Then, the campaign was charged with another infraction.

Martinez was found guilty of sending students private messages on Snapchat asking for their votes on March 29, three days after the window for campaigning had officially closed and voting had begun.

According to the SGA Election Commission’s ruling, Martinez told the commission he was unaware that he had violated any campaign rules in asking students for their votes.

“However, the candidate was required to attend an informational session to qualify for candidacy, in which he and other candidates were given dates and rules specific to running their SGA campaigns. Additionally, all candidates, including Martinez, have been provided with a direct link to the SGA Elections Code,” the commission said in its ruling.

The commission ruled that Martinez, and consequently his running mate Gibson, would be disqualified from the race and will no longer appear on the SGA elections ballot.

SGA Court of Review Justice Sabah Bashi said Martinez appealed the commission’s decision to the Court of Review which unanimously voted to uphold the Election Commission’s decision and remove Martinez and Gibson from the ballot.

Voting for SGA president and vice president will continue through March 31 on HowlConnect.