Tucker Fox and Chancellor Zaugg are the only two choices on the ballot today for the runoff for Mr. Ole Miss. Polls opened at 7 a.m.
A crowded field of five was reduced to two, as Terrence Johnson with 18.76 percent of the vote, Cody Letchworth with 18.01 percent of the vote and Brady Ruffin with 12.31 percent of the vote fell short of Chancellor Zaugg’s 20.76 percent and Tucker Fox’s 29.13 percent.
Yesterday, Fox and Zaugg spent one final day campaigning on Business Row, each making a last case for why he should be Mr. Ole Miss.
Fox spent his first two years at Ole Miss trying to walk on to the Ole Miss golf team. After it didn’t work out, he applied for Ole Miss Ambassadors, which led to his position as an orientation leader.
“I never thought I would do it. I got dragged to the entrance meeting by one of my friends,” Fox said. “I just really found a niche in the way (of) serving Ole Miss. I got more out of the stuff than most of the kids that come.”
Zaugg said he had a different experience when he was on campus for the first time.
“I had no idea what I was doing. I just put one foot in front of the other,” Zaugg said. “But I couldn’t help having this feeling when I’m at this place everything is going to be alright. I knew I was in the right place for me.”
For the pair, it wasn’t until after having conversations with close friends over the summer that they realized running for Mr. Ole Miss was something they each wanted to do.
“Honestly, it is so humbling to see how far we’ve come,” Zaugg said. “The reason I’m here right now is because of my team and my support, not because of me.”
“It was very tough for me to ask for people’s support. It seemed selfish,” Fox said. “It was unbelievable to see people put in the work to help make this happen.”
Campaigning was something both candidates said they never had experienced before.
“I just want to know what’s going on in their minds when they see this goofy kid from Memphis handing out stickers on Business Row,” Zaugg said. “My team and I just wanted to have the most fun out there, and I think that shows and people bought into it.”
Fox tried to spend at least two hours at his sign every day.
“It’s crazy to think someone I’ve never met before or spoken to had a vested interest in what we were trying to do,” he said. “People you don’t even know are supporting you.”
Zaugg said his campaign was built around the theme of investing in people.
“A lot of times, people in college can be pretty surface-level. I want to have real relationships with people,” he said. “I think that can be hard to find in life, but that’s what I try to pursue in my life. I love bringing people together.”
Fox’s campaign focused on the Ole Miss family, he said.
“I would rather see this campaign fall flat on its face and people be encouraged by the Ole Miss family and what we’re saying than us win and no one be changed or encouraged at all,” Fox said.
Both candidates expressed their gratitude toward everyone involved in their campaigns and strongly encouraged everyone to vote in the runoff tomorrow.
“A lot of times, Mr. Ole Miss has the connotation that it’s the most involved or who has the best resume. That’s not what this campaign is about. This isn’t about the person that has done the most,” Fox said. “A lot of things I’ve been involved in the past couple years have been organic. Everything has just fallen into place. Everything I’ve been plugged in to on campus has helped me build relationships with everyone on campus.”
“There’s a lot of great candidates out there, and they had some great campaigns,” Zaugg said. “Mr. Ole Miss should not be a checklist but should be something done out of love and with the right intentions, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through students’ myOleMiss accounts, and the results will be announced at 8:30 p.m. outside the Lyceum. The vote on the potential mascot change is open until 7 p.m. Friday on the ASB’s Orgsync site.