University of Maryland SGA President AJ Pruitt will endorse College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn in Tuesday's mayoral contest, he said Sunday.
"I have had the opportunity to work with Patrick over the past three and a half years, both during his tenure on the College Park City Council and during his time as mayor," Pruitt said. "When he … said he was going to do something, he does everything he can to keep that promise, and that's one thing I question about the other candidates."
The SGA as whole, however, will not endorse any candidates, Pruitt said.
"I think that, one, it's just been traditional for the Student Government Association to not endorse political candidates, even though the College Park election is pretty nonpolitical," he said. "It is just pretty difficult for a whole body to make a decision like that."
The SGA did not endorse candidates in College Park's last mayoral election in 2015.
Patrick Ronk, the SGA president at the time, said making such endorsements could cause a "toxic environment" between students and long-term residents of the city.
Pruitt, a senior economics and government and politics major, said he decided to endorse a candidate this year because this election is a "referendum for the future of College Park."
"I think that Patrick has always shown a willingness to work with students on the issues we find important," he said, highlighting Wojahn's work for affordable housing and support of rent stabilization.
Leading up to the 2013 city election, the SGA voted to endorse two candidates in the District 3 council race — incumbent Robert Day and Matthew Popkin, then a graduate student at this university.
Day won, and Stephanie Stullich beat out Popkin to keep her seat. Day is currently running for his fourth term on the council. Stullich isn't running for re-election.
Pruitt said Popkin had close ties to the SGA, and that may have played into the SGA's decision to make endorsements in that race. As for this year, though, Pruitt said the body won't announce any district endorsements.
"It was never anything that really came up to us," Pruitt said. "It's odd to me. You have students living in all four districts, so then it becomes, why aren't you making endorsements in all of the districts?"