Update 04/27/2016: This article has been updated to reflect new information about the circumstances of Guillermo Perez’s resignation.
Guillermo Perez, an ASUC senator-elect with SQUELCH!, submitted a letter of resignation to the ASUC Judicial Council on Tuesday, according to an ASUC release.
The release states that Perez’s vacant senate seat will be filled using a “countback retabulation” of the votes, in which votes cast for Perez will be re-examined and awarded to the voters’ second-listed choices. According to the release, this new senator will likely not be the candidate eliminated last during the initial tabulation.
The Judicial Council will formally accept Perez’s resignation at its meeting Thursday evening.
“The Elections Council will be working expediently over the next several weeks to determine the replacement Senator,” the release states. “Candidates and the public will be updated with further developments as more information becomes available.”
The countback protocol — the method used for filling vacancies — is a procedure new to the ASUC and was recently adopted as part of the Constitutional Clarity and Consistency Amendment 2016.
The amendment was introduced on the 2016-17 ballot in an attempt to clarify and correct language in the ASUC Constitution. In addition to the countback protocol, other provisions of the amendment included adding closed sessions for the sanctioning of officials and expanding the two-year term limit for the ASUC president to all executive officers.
According to ASUC Attorney General Alek Klimek, a senator-elect has not resigned in at least the past four years. Perez’s resignation, however, does not prevent him from working in the ASUC in the future, Klimek said.
In his formal resignation letter addressed to the ASUC Judicial Council, Perez stated that his resignation is due to “personal reasons” and “for (his) own wellness.”
“I would like to have my space respected on this decision,” Perez wrote in the letter. “I wish the best of luck to the incoming senate class.”
According to Jake Fineman, party chair of SQUELCH!, Perez will not serve as a core member of the party this upcoming year. The SQUELCH! core consists of its chairs and directors, who are not current senators or in specific offices.
SQUELCH! ran two other senatorial candidates — Anthony Carrasco and Marandah Field-Elliot — in the 2016-17 ASUC elections. While Field-Elliot did not win a seat, Carrasco will serve as a senator in the fall.
Perez most recently served as the chief of staff to former ASUC senator Will Morrow, who is now the ASUC president-elect.
The last sitting senator to resign from the ASUC Senate was Student Action Senator Sahana Rajasekar, who announced her resignation during the first senate meeting of spring 2013, citing her health. Rajasekar was replaced under the former ASUC rule that the candidate who received the most votes without getting elected would fill the vacated office.
Senior staff writer Ariel Hayat contributed to this report.
Contact Logan Goldberg at [email protected].