Student Government held its first official candidates meeting for the 2024 election season in Russell House Tuesday. Only one person is running for each executive position, except for speaker of the student senate.
Patton Byars, the chief of staff for former Student Body President Reedy Newton and Student Body President Emmie Thompson, is running for president.
Courtney Tkacs is running for vice president. She is a student engagement coach for the Leadership and Service Center.
Ian Herd and Maura Hamilton are the only two candiates competing for the same position — speaker of the senate.
Herd previously held the position of speaker pro tempore in early 2023 but was removed for alleged disrespectful behavior to other senators. Herd was later reinstated in the position but then stepped down in November due to problems he said he saw in leadership.
Hamilton is a senator for the College of Nursing.
Jacob Vaught is running for treasurer. Vaught is the chair of the ad hoc committee for finance reform, which has worked to recommend changes to the way Student Government allocates money to student organizations after running out of monies two years in a row.
This is the first year Student Government is enacting spending limits on campaigns. There was a spending cap bill passed in the senate last year but was vetoed by Reedy Newton. An injunction led the bill to not to be in effect for last year's elections.
The cap for executive candidates is $1500.
Students can vote for the executive positions and senators from their college from 9 a.m. on Feb. 20 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 21.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article misidentified the Ian Herd's timeline of being speaker pro tempore. This article has been updated to clarify when he left the position.