University of Alabama elects first African-American SGA president in four decades

By: Melissa Brown

The University of Alabama Tuesday elected their first black Student Government Association president in almost four decades. 

Elliot Spillers, a junior from Pelham, is also considered to be the first non-Machine candidate to win the election since John Merrill (now Alabama's Secretary of State) won in 1986.

This will be Spillers' first elected position within the SGA, where he has served appointed positions, most recently as deputy director of engagement.

He is studying business management with a political science minor, and is a member of the Honors College. 

Spillers said he was "shocked and thankful" after receiving the election results. 

“This is my third time at this, and each time I’ve grown tremendously as a leader and a person,” Spillers said when reached by phone Tuesday evening. “I’ve never lost hope, hope for this university and what we’ll accomplish in the next year. The real work begins tomorrow. To all the students who voted for me, thank you. It’s because of you we have the opportunity to bring sustainable change here to Alabama.”
— Elliot Spillers

Spillers defeated Stephen Keller for the position, who is currently vice president of student affairs in the SGA. 

In a statement Tuesday evening, Keller congratulated Spillers on an "excellent campaign" and thanked his supporters.

Student newspaper The Crimson White reported voter turnout was the highest it has been in at least six years. Spillers received 8,602 of the 14,931 votes cast. 

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