Friday, May 19, 2006

A quick look down the ballot

Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley and former Gov. Don Siegelman won't be the only names on next month's Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot. Five other people are seeking the nomination, too, and today's Birmingham News takes a look at the array of what could be called -- perhaps unfairly, considering that some have quite reasonable positions -- "fringe candidates."

Their positions are as varied as their backgrounds. There's Joe Copeland, a retired engineer who seeks "a universal contraceptive program" to combat population growth, and there's Nathan Mathis, a former state representative who wants referenda on a lottery and casinos. Also in the mix are Katherine Mack, a church pastor who wants prayer back in public schools, and James Potts, a cattle farmer who doesn't much like property taxes.

In a class by himself is lawyer Harry Lyon, a frequent candidate for a host of offices. His main concerns are random drug tests, which he wants all children to take, and illegal immigration, to which he suggested a noose could be a solution. But fear not; Lyon has a sense of humor, too. Here's his tongue-in-cheek reason for desiring the state's top job: "I want to get some of my hands on that state money. I need it now." He also vowed to paint his initials at the problem of the Governor's Mansion swimming pool.

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