Ring ends up chock full of hats

July 09, 1998

Tim RowlandI'm wearing a big hat today, as I sit here typing. It has a lot of feathers and netting and wax fruit and looks much like the one Hedda Hopper wore on the old "I Love Lucy" show.

I am doing this because I read where Vikki "The Hat" Nelson has entered the state Senate race against incumbent Don Munson. If she wins, hats may become trendy in Washington County, and I do not want to be left on the platform when the fashion bandwagon leaves the station.

Although Vikki might be the first to toss her hat into the ring, only to have the ring toss it back.

Hat tossing was definitely the order of the weekend in Washington County, which had more wayward caps than the Naval Academy on graduation day.


Considering the low turnout of recent years, this may be the first election where we have more candidates than voters.

People have so much confidence in our County Commissioners that 26 challengers stepped forward, saying they can do a better job. Being a baseball fan, my early favorite is the guy who looks like Seattle outfielder Jay Buhner - shaved head and a goatee. I think that's a good look. "Now showing, Yul Brynner in 'The Commissioner and I.'"

But 29 candidates. This is going to appear less like an election than a Little League tryout. How are they going to get everyone on the same stage for a candidate forum without having it look like the cast of "Ragtime?"

Asked why the large number of candidates, sitting Commissioner Ron Bowers said he couldn't think of any particular issue. Let's see, some enormous, costly, poorly managed, overriding issue that's been in the public's eye over the past couple of years? Nope, I can't put my finger on anything, either.

A lot of people seem angry about something the commissioners have done, though. This may be the first election where name recognition is not a good thing - you go down the list and cast your ballot for the people you've never heard of.

I bet House of Delegates candidate Chris Shank is having posters printed up that say "Vote for Chris (Only A Very, Very Distant Relation, Honest) Shank."

Other electoral items of note:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> I was sorry to see tough-guy gubernatorial candidate Ray Schoenke leave the race. I liked his idea of locking up all children until 8 o'clock at night, at which point they would be released and forced to go straight to bed.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> On the other end of the scale, we have the kinder, gentler Paul Muldowney calling his opponent, Del. John Donoghue "a fine young man." A friendly, non-fire-and-brimstone campaign from St. Paul? What's the point?

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Best potential nickname race: State Comptroller, with Gerald "Ice" Berg, Michael "Cold-Hard" Steele, Jeff "Left" Hooke, Lih "Forever" Young, Kenneth "Fort" Frederick, Joseph "Cash And" Carey, Ardath "Are" Cade and Tim "Andy Of" Mayberry.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> If anyone deserves to be comptroller, it's Boonboro's Mayberry, who was the only one of the lot who had the guts and the agenda to run against Louis Goldstein, prior to the incumbent's untimely demise. Now that he's gone, everyone wants to be comptroller, even my favorite politician of all time, William Donald Schaefer.

Can you see us going from Goldstein to Schaefer? Uncle Louis to King Crab. "God Bless Y'all Real Good" Goldstein to "God, Get These People Out of My Sight" Schaefer.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Hardest name to overcome: State senatorial candidate Alex Mooney. Those who won't be reminded of the Unification Church will be reminded of the wacky bank president Mr. Mooney.

But what a great campaign stunt it could be - walking across the district, shaking hands, kissing babies and yelling "LUUCILLLLEEE!!!"

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