Independent Senator to Run for ASUC President

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After a semester filled with rumors and speculation, independent two-term ASUC Senator Misha Leybovich revealed Tuesday that he will join major party Student Action's slate to run for the ASUC presidency.

"As president I would be able to take my love, passion, drive and experience, and have a more powerful tool to channel it," Leybovich said.

A vocal senator from the small APPLE-Engineering party, Leybovich is ditching his independent roots in a much-anticipated move to ally with moderate Student Action in its campaign to reclaim the four executive seats it held one year ago.

Leybovich said he was eyeing the presidency for a long time, but was wavering on whether he should run with a party.

But Leybovich said he would use his independent past and the role of the presidency to ease divisive ASUC politics, particularly the bitter wrangling between Student Action and progressive CalSERVE, the other major party.

"Before, I didn't really have much use for the parties," Leybovich said. "But given that parties are going to be here, rather than sitting to the side and complaining about the party system, I could go in and bring an independent perspective and try to improve it."

Leybovich's bid comes unusually late in the elections game, barely one week before the filing deadline. By mid-February of last year, both CalSERVE and Student Action had settled on presidential candidates, but this year both parties have yet to finalize their slates.

Finding people who wanted to get involved in the ASUC was difficult this year, said Student Action co-signatory Frank Lee.

Lee added that Leybovich is a perfect match for Student Action.

"I've watched him grow in the last two years and he's developed into a lot of things that Student Action values," Lee said. "A lot of his goals relate to what students want, like tangible projects for students."

Leybovich is known mostly for two ASUC book-swaps, which drew more than 2,000 students last year.

He also has been courting student groups, writing one-fifth of the bills this year.

"I wake up in the morning, and I ask myself ‘What else can I do for students?' and that's me in a nutshell," Leybovich said.

CalSERVE has yet to announce Leybovich's competitor.


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