Accusations fly as UK SGA run-off elections approach


The SGA judicial panel listens to complaints on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, presented by current SGA president Michael Hamilton and director of government relations Katherine Speece against president and vice president candidates Tucker Lovett and Andy Flood in the Gatton College of Business building in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Ryan Brokamp

The UK Student Government Association Supreme Court ruled on multiple campaign violations submitted by both the Lovett-Flood and Hamilton-Speece campaigns on Monday night. 

The court heard four total accusations, two from both presidential campaigns. This is the second court hearing involving the presidential campaigns since the beginning of the SGA elections. 

Current SGA President Michael Hamilton represented his ballot and brought two campaign violations to the court’s attention. Hamilton’s accusations of Lovett-Flood revolved around the equipping of campaign volunteers with campaign t-shirts and an email procedure violation.

Hamilton told the court the t-shirts given to campaign staff, which opponent Tucker Lovett said were valued at $4.50, were a bribe to sway votes.

The incumbent also said that a member of the Lovett-Flood team attached a Greek life leader’s email address in the carbon copy of a mass sent email instead of the blind carbon copy section, which is the correct place per SGA rules. Lovett confessed that this was an honest mistake.

The court found that while the Lovett-Flood campaign did not commit any violations by their use of t-shirts, the roommate duo would have to pay a  penalty for their email accident. A fine of $25 was given to the campaign.

Lovett responded to his opposition with accusations of ethics violations of his own.

Lovett accused the Hamilton-Speece campaign of abusing their current SGA positions for their campaign. This time his focus shifted to Kat Speece— Hamilton’s running mate— as Lovett said her access to the SGA Instagram, which pertained to her current government role as Director of Government Relations, led to her getting favorable coverage in the campaign. 

In his second violation accusation, Lovett shifted his attention to Hamilton. Lovett said his opponent used his current position as SGA president to gain unrestricted access to private emails sent by Lovett to the SGA Chief of Staff, Susie Smith.

The emails in question were used in an attempt to prove that Lovett was not eligible to run for office per SGA rules, Lovett told the court. Smith, who was appointed by Hamilton, was not present for the proceedings.

All parties violations were submitted after the results of the election on Feb. 28. 

The small penalty did not affect the attitude of the charismatic team. Lovett’s spirits were still high after the hearing.

“It is what is it, now it’s go time,” Lovett said, referring to this week’s run-off election.

The SGA Supreme Court ruled against both the alleged ethical violations that were made against Hamilton-Speece.

Last week’s election ended with no ballot receiving the 50 percent majority needed to win the position. This week’s run-off election— which features the top-two vote-getting campaigns— will begin on Wednesday at 9 a.m. and end Thursday at 6 p.m.