March 12, 2009
Ballot position? Fuhgeddaboudit!
The luck of the draw?
Jaimie Charon and Jim Spangenberg were the only two of eleven candidates to attend City Clerk Janice Johnson-Martin's ballot-position party at 10 a.m. this morning, each hoping for the coveted top spot for the April 7 mayoral primary.
They shoulda stood in bed.
Johnson-Martin assembled a small group of city hall employees to witness the drawing of candidates' names from an open-top coffee can -- one decorated with All-America City stickers from a happier time, 2003. City Finance Director David Brown started the proceedings by rolling up his sleeve, to prove there was nothing but his elbow up there.
Then he drew the first name, winner of the top spot on the ballot. "Sarah Palin," he announced with a straight face.
And so it went. A light-hearted, friendly beginning to what all expect to become a knock-down, drag-out race among some of the city's most ambitious politicians and a handful of newcomers.
Once the drawing got serious, Brown quickly pulled one name out of the coffee can after another: Lesia Hill-Driver got the top spot, followed in order by Jody Harding, Q.A. Shakoor II, Greg Helding, Raymond Fay. As Brown handed the slips of paper to her, Johnson-Martin stuck them on her official "Certification of Drawing of Names for Placement on Ballot" sheet.
"Aren't you glad you came?" someone asked Charon and Spangenberg, who good-naturedly shook each other's hand for luck while wondering if their names would ever be called.
The drawing continued: Pete Karas, Robert Turner, John Dickert.
You couldn't have imagined a more suspenseful drawing. Just three positions left. Surely... And the ninth name drawn: Kim Plache.
Finally, with only two names left in the can: Jaimie Charon's was pulled, and drawing up the rear, Jim Spangenberg.
Someone tried to cheer them both up. "Bottom is good," she said. "At least you're not buried in the middle."
Charon and Spangenberg left City Hall together, wishing each other a good race. "We need more people in city government," Spangenberg said to Charon as they walked to their cars.