Candidate Opts Out As Council Campaign Begins

Only hours before the campaign for the Undergraduate Council President kicked off at midnight today, a top candidate, Ernani J. DeAraujo ’03, dropped out of the race.

DeAraujo said last night that he and his running mate Fred O. Smith ’04 were supporting rival ticket Lauren E. Bonner ’04 and her running mate, Luke R. Long ’03.

“We found out we were very similar tickets and we care about the same issues,” DeAraujo said.

It is unclear now how much DeAraujo’s support will help Bonner and Smith in the race against frontrunner and current council Vice President Sujean S. Lee ’03 and her running mate, Anne M. Fernandez ’03.

Lee, who is well known for founding the Concert Commission, which has brought popular bands including Dispatch to Harvard, has more council experience than Bonner, who did not win election to the body this year.

The mood was celebratory last night as the candidates held kickoff parties to rally their supporters.

About 40 Lee-Fernandez supporters packed the Leverett House Junior Common Room to listen to speeches, eat pizza, and prepare orange signs promising a “livelier Harvard.” The signs, alluding to the ticket’s vast accumulated experience on the council, billed Lee and Fernandez “proven leaders.”

Meanwhile, Bonner, Long and about 30 supporters assembled in the Adams House lower common room and prepared orange signs for postering around the Houses as soon as the campaign opened at 12:01 a.m. this morning.

Both campaigns planned to focus on hanging their signs in Houses first, and blanketing Harvard Yard later in the morning.

With DeAraujo out, the race will center on Lee-Fernandez and Long-Bonner. Relative unknowns Matthew H. Espy ’02 and Daryk A. Pengelly ’03 are running solely on the issues of cable television and a student center, but their campaign did not hold a party or hang posters in the early morning hours.

Although Lee and Fernandez have each proposed more successful council legislation than Bonner and Long combined, Bonner said that she hopes her ticket will carry more student group endorsements.

Bonner said the support of DeAraujo and prominent progressive Smith should attract support from student groups to the Bonner-Long ticket.

“They broaden our base,” she said.

Bonner could also benefit from her choice of running mate: Long got more votes in this year’s council election than any other candidate—and historically, single-sex tickets have not fared well in presidential elections.

Lee and Fernandez also hope to draw on their campus involvement, including time spent outside of the council. Lee, for example, is a prefect and member of The Seneca.

“Some people might characterize us as the UC candidates, but it’s really important for people to realize that although we have dedicated so much to the UC, we are widely involved in other campus things that allow us to have a broad perspective,” Lee said.

—Staff writer William M. Rasmussen can be reached at wrasmuss@fas.harvard.edu.