Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Would you be more likely to vote for a “Kash,” or a “Winderweedle?”

It seems that Sam McCann, the Republican state senator from one of those Illinois towns not far from St. Louis, is going to proceed with his plans to be the newly-created (as in by himself) Conservative Party’s candidate for governor come Nov. 6.

JACKSON: Gov. Winderweedle eyes his parking spot
He filed the nominating petitions Monday to get his third-party candidacy on the ballot – and soon we’ll get the process by the Republican establishment to claim his signatures of support aren’t valid and he should be kicked off.

BUT IF IT turns out that McCann somehow manages to remain on the ballot so he can try to steal votes away from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election bid, there’s a chance he won’t even be the most notable third party candidate to appear.

For it seems the Libertarians have come up with a candidate who may well have one of the most unusual ballot names to ever be seen in an Illinois election.

I’m talking about the gubernatorial candidacy of Kash Jackson, who says his full name is Grayson Kash Jackson. But he also concedes that is the name he picked for himself back in 2017 when he completed the legal process of having a name-change.

It used to be Benjamin Adam Winderweedle.

RAUNER: Wants this to be a two-race race
THE ILLINOIS STATE Board of Elections says that his entry on the gubernatorial ballot will offer, along with those of Republican Rauner and Democrat Pritzker (and maybe Conservative McCann), “Grayson Kash Jackson formerly known as Benjamin Adam Winderweedle until name changed on Aug. 29, 2017.”

For the record, Jackson/Winderweedle is an Antioch resident who will turn 40 by Election Day and who includes among the many roles he has held in life that he’s a reserve sheriff’s deputy in north suburban Lake County.

He’s the founder of the Restoring Freedom organization that advocates for family court, and he served in the Navy for 20 years, reaching the rank of petty officer, First Class, before retiring in 2016.

PRITZKER: The more, the merrier
Which means he’s a political newcomer, who likely will try to claim his total lack of government experience is actually his greatest strength – a person to vote for if you’re absolutely disgusted by the content of modern-day electoral politics.

WHICH IS PROBABLY the niche that McCann envisions for himself, but may or may not get, depending on whether he can remain on the ballot for Nov. 6.

Now as someone who has written about government and electoral politics for nearly three full decades, the idea of fringe candidates is not unique. They come and go.

When the election is over, they tend to be forgotten about. As though we can’t remember a thing about why we were ever asked to vote for them in the first place – except to express our disgust with the person who eventually won that election.

I can’t help but wonder if “Kash” (that’s what he seems to want to be called for short) is the exception because of that incredulously-long handle he’s going to have on the ballot – which may well be the first-and-only time most people will ever hear of him.

JUST ENVISION, PEOPLE who feel like they need to cast a ballot come Nov. 6 show up not feeling enthused about either incumbent Bruce or billionaire J.B. – then they see there’s also a Libertarian with all the names.

McCANN: Will he remain on ballot?
I have to wonder how many people will wind up putting a mark beside that ballot entry, just because!

Although a part of me has to wonder if he’d have been better off keeping his mother-given name – I can’t recall quite as noteworthy a name as “Winderweedle” appearing on an Illinois ballot. It would have gained him voter attention – without all the legal expense of a court-approved name change.

Besides, just think of all the attention the Illinois political scene would gain from those who want to speculate on how seriously a “Gov. Winderweedle” would be taken?


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