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College sophomore Emma Ellman-Golan and Wharton junior Liz Celata will take the helm of Penn Democrats, hoping to increase excitement among students for the upcoming gubernatorial and senatorial elections.

Ellman-Golan and Celata — who were elected on Tuesday as the group’s president and vice president, respectively — discussed their vision for Penn Dems with The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Daily Pennsylvanian: How much competition did you face in this election?

Emma Ellman-Golan: Neither of us actually ran contested. We had worked it out beforehand. It was pretty clear to everyone in the organization that we were the best ones to run it. Responsibilities had been turned over to us little by little, so on the first day we already knew what we were doing.

DP: What are your plans for the coming year?

EEG: Winning the [Pennsylvania] Senate and governor’s races. That’s the big 2010 plan. We also want to change the organizational structure. The board and the body are divided. We want to increase communication to connect the divide.

Liz Celata: We will also be continuing events and continuing registration.

DP: What challenges will you face for next year’s statewide elections?

EEG: Elections are a day after graduation, so no one is going to be here. We’re going to be focusing on getting students to register for absentee ballots.

LC: We need people to be educated and informed about the race.

DP: How would you evaluate [College sophomore and former Penn Democrats President] Jordan Levine’s performance?

EEG: He had a difficult task at hand. Our board took office when Obama had been elected. Passion and excitement had decreased. Jordan kept the organization moving so it didn’t die between election seasons.

LC: There was a lot of burnout after the Obama election. Jordan kept people talking and continued the conversation about Democratic issues.

DP: What are some of your plans for collaborating with other political groups on campus?

EEG: We already have a meeting set up with the College Republicans and Penn Leads the Vote. We also have an idea of building an umbrella political organization, which would help us get more funds from the Undergraduate Assembly.

LC: We also want to continue to debate the College Republicans.

DP: How do you feel about the other members of the Penn Dems board?

EEG: We have a good young board that’s really enthusiastic.

LC: Our big goal is to build up a lot of the excitement we had on the board in 2008.

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