Michael J. Passante '98 was elected president of Harvard-Radcliffe College Democrats Monday night, in a race that saw first-years take half of the group's 12 executive positions.
The left-leaning student organization claims "between 200-300" dues-paying members, about 50 of whom are active members, according to outgoing president Eric S. Olney '98.
Despite the success of first-years, club members gave the nod to experience in the presidential election, as Passante was chosen over David B. Orr '01. The race was "not too, too contentious," Olney said. "They're both good people, both had support, both were qualified, and I think both would have made a good president."
Among the first-years elected to other offices were Luther G. Williams '01 as campaigns chair, Joseph N. Sanberg '01 as events chair, Richard Cooper '01 as internships chair. Patrick D. Curran '01, M. Marit Rehavi '01 and Jessica L. Richman '01 were elected as at-large board members.
In addition, Edward T. Freeman '00 was named vice president; Daniel M. Loss '00 treasurer; David A. Hopkins '99 secretary; and Alysson R. Ford '00 as community service chair.
Eugenie A. Lang '00 won an at-large post.
Olney said he tried to make the organization more accessible to Democratic students.
"We had a lot of successes," he said. "We restructured the organization, [which] enabled us to do more and have more people involved in the decision-making process."
Olney said he felt that the organization "held its own" in 1997 even though it wasn't an election year. The suspense of election years traditionally swells club participation.
"We didn't publicize enough," Olney conceded. "There wasn't an article in The Crimson. It might have seemed that we weren't around as much. We were doing more low-key things that were nevertheless important, but weren't the types of things that would be publicized."