Elections for Mr. and Miss Ole Miss are headed to a runoff on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Cade Slaughter and Cole Barnhill will be on the ballot for Mr. Ole Miss on Thursday, and Cameron Sadler and Lilli Gordon will be on the ballot for Miss Ole Miss.
Approximately 125 more students voted in the election for Mr. Ole Miss than for Miss Ole Miss. 5,423 voted in the election for Mr. Ole Miss while 5,298 voted for Miss Ole Miss. Associated Student Body Attorney General Jake Fanning said the discrepancy in the number of votes for each was caused by students leaving the Miss Ole Miss portion of the ballot blank.
“(It’s) very typical,” Fanning said. “(It) has been seen in all past elections on record.”
Mr. Ole Miss was the most heavily contested of the personality elections this year with five students running for the honor. Slaughter, a public policy leadership major, and Barnhill, a management major, received 28.72% and 22.91% of the vote respectively to force a runoff.
Barnhill said he is running his campaign on building intentional relationships with different communities on campus. Barnhill said that over the next two days, his campaign will continue to focus on reaching out to people in all areas of the university community.
“The whole point of Mr. Ole Miss and Miss Ole Miss is to work together to unify our campus through community service and advocacy for the Ole Miss experience,” Barnhill said. “And I think my focus would be to get into that mission of making sure that we’re able to give back to the community.”
Slaughter’s campaign slogan is “This is home.” His campaign is built around the idea that the university becomes a home away from home for students. Slaughter hopes that his campaign will help students, especially first-year students, to see that there is still a sense of community at the university, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr. and Miss Ole Miss come together and they pick a philanthropy, so if this was to come to fruition, I really look forward to working on that with whoever that might be,” Slaughter said. “I’m excited about what that could be, but I’m also excited about — and hoping that — some of the first-year students are able to see the community that we have in each other and they know that it’s a reality for them and their next four years here.”
Four candidates ran for Miss Ole Miss. Sadler, an integrated marketing communications major and Gordon, a biological science major, won 36.91% and 33.59% of the vote respectively to force a runoff.
Sadler could not be reached for comment by time of publication.
Gordon is running on a campaign to emphasize that although the coronavirus has changed things and college is different now, “life is still good.”
“I wanted this platform these past few weeks to serve as a reminder that things are still good on campus, and the relationships we’ve made these past four years are ultimately what makes this campus really good, too,” Gordon said.
Gordon also said she wants to use her platform to support the Boys and Girls Club, where she’s volunteered for the past three years. Gordon said that she has worked and watched the kids at the Boys and Girls Club grow over the past three years, but they are struggling with obtaining resources and volunteers as a result of the coronavirus.
“I want to serve and give back to them with this campaign,” Gordon said. “I want to get our campus in Ole Miss engaged as much as I can with (the Boys and Girls Club).”
Traditionally, students gather on the steps of the Lyceum on the night of the election as winners for Mr. and Miss Ole Miss, homecoming king and queen and other personality elections are announced. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who won outright will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 1 via Zoom conference, two days after the initial personality elections.
“I know the delay will not set well with some people, but the presentation Thursday should be fun and engaging,” Fanning said.
Fanning added that candidates for Mr. and Miss Ole Miss who did not make the runoff are still encouraged to attend the virtual conference.
The winners of homecoming king and queen were decided in today’s election, but results will not be announced until Thursday at 8 p.m.
Harper Mims, a criminal justice major, and Lucy Williams, a dietetics and nutrition major, ran against one another for homecoming queen. Deterrian Jones, a political science major, ran for homecoming king unopposed.