R-E-S-P-E-C-T

In Manatee County, Florida, years ago a man running for an open spot on the local Mosquito Control Board (yes, there really is such a thing) adopted a convenient nickname to use in his advertising in order to help his chances for election. He gave himself the name ‘Skeeter’. The board of elections was not amused and disallowed its use on the ballot.

(I don’t make these things up.)

Election to political office has to be tough, especially when one’s gifts may lie elsewhere than in the art of campaigning. And so I understand that name recognition often means the difference between victory and defeat. I confess that I really know of no one running for Seminole County judge other than the guy billing himself as “Big” Hass on his campaign posters. And I only know one name of those running for the state legislature in nearby Orange County and that is a guy whose placards refer to him as “Coach P”.

I understand that in the drive to get elected these names are effective. But in the drive to have respect in office, won’t such names get in the way? Knowing nothing of the qualities of these candidates or their opponents, I really don’t want a judge named “Big” Hass or a legislator named “Coach P”.

I might, however, have gone for “Skeeter” on the Mosquito Control Board.