Kanin Pruter endorses Brittany Benedict for TUSG president

Pruter endorsed his former rival in an Instagram post on Monday

Kanin Pruter, whose executive ticket finished fourth in the first round of Tempe Undergraduate Student Government elections, has endorsed presidential candidate Brittany Benedict in the runoff election against Aundrea DeGravina.

The endorsement appeared on the Benedict 2017 Instagram page Monday night.

Pruter, who ran a campaign that was focused on sexual assault awareness and prevention, said that although it played a minor role in his endorsement, he was dissatisfied with the DeGravina campaign's response to allegations that Dayton Potter downplayed the sexual harassment accounts of Morgan DiFelice.

“I would honestly say maybe one or two percent of my decision came from the blog post,” Pruter said. “But, it wasn’t the blog post itself, it was more or less how the campaign reacted and how it responded.”

Pruter said he tried to view the situation as objectively as possible when making a judgment.

“I know Dayton Potter personally, and Dayton Potter’s never been a bad person to me. He’s always been very cordial, he’s always been respectful,” Pruter said. “But in light of the fact that there is somebody who is claiming that they were victim-shamed, I can not say just because I like Dayton, or Dayton and I have a good relationship, that I’m going to discredit what Morgan was saying.”

Pruter said most of his concern came over the amount of Greek-affiliated students in USG and he sought a pledge from the candidates that at least half their administration would be non-Greek. Pruter would not use the word “pledge” to describe Benedict’s commitment, but said her response convinced him.

“(Benedict) strenuously reassured me that it was going to be something her administration would look into, and I believe it. And I have faith that they’re going to do such things,” Pruter said.

Brittany Benedict said she didn’t commit to making half her administration non-Greek students, but stressed that her administration would not be solely composed of panhellenic students.

“I know I didn’t commit to half, but that’s kind of what we’re moving forward toward,” Benedict said. “Greek life makes up a small portion of our university.”

We had an amazing time getting to know the other tickets during this election, and we're humbled to be endorsed by Kanin Pruter - Candidate for the Pruter Executive Ticket! "There are many factors that went into my decision for this endorsement. I want a leader who is going to fight for each and every student on this campus. We need a student government built on accountability, diversity and most importantly - inclusion. I am proud to endorse and wholeheartedly support The Benedict ticket. This ticket embodies every quality that I want in an administration. Their experience, compassion and intellect qualify them to maintain and build upon the successes of this years administration. I strongly encourage ALL of those who voted for me to vote for Brittany, Kelsey and Lester this Wednesday!"

A post shared by Benedict 2017 (@votebenedict17) on

Benedict said she hopes to reach out to the on-campus coalitions, in which Pruter has been heavily involved, to have greater representation in TUSG.

Benedict said she was thankful to receive the endorsement of a former rival and that their tickets came to respect each other over the election process.

“Kanin and I have had a huge respect for each other and both of our tickets mutually,” Benedict said.

Benedict said before even meeting with Pruter to discuss an endorsement, he had reached out to offer his full support based on her campaign platforms and ticket experience.

“That was super encouraging to hear,” Benedict said. “(From) somebody who has been in our position and our shoes the last three weeks, it was a huge honor to have that endorsement.”

Chloe Lopez, Pruter’s running mate for vice president of policy, said she is abstaining from endorsement in this year’s election.

“I believe both tickets equally have the passion and experience to do well in office,” Lopez said. “Whoever gets elected into the position will do equally fine.”

Lopez said the subsequent response from the DeGravina ticket to DiFelice’s blog post, could have been more eloquently written, but would not expand further on the subject.

Eryck Garcia, the Pruter campaign’s candidate for vice president of services, did not return a request for comment. 

Reach the reporter at maatenci@asu.edu or follow @mitchellatencio on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.