While peering through the various candidates running for office in Orange County, I came across two who had something very odd in common:
- Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski, Candidate for Santa Margarita Water District
- Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale, Candidate for South Coast Water District
Usually, the nickname in quotation marks in the middle of a candidate’s would be for something like Robert “Bob” Baker or Daniel “Skip” Marshall. Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski and Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale are certainly unusual, though both nicknames certainly have a nexus with the office the candidates seek (i.e. water board).
While having a nickname that relates to the office might seem like a good idea at first, I doubt that voters would take “The Water Man” or “Water Watch Dog” seriously.
But then again, it’s happened before. Byron Looper ran unsuccessfully for the Georgia House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1988, the same year he was a campaign worker for Al Gore’s presidential campaign. In 1992, he was a campaign worker for the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign and became a Republican. In 1994, he ran unsuccessfully for the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 1996, he inserted “Low Tax” into his name, and voters in Putnam County, Tennessee elected Byron “Low Tax” Looper as County Assessor.
(Unfortunately, Low Tax Looper’s tale does not end there. In 1998, Looper challenged five-term incumbent State Senator Tommy Burks (D). Burks was shot and killed on October 19, 1998, just 15 days before the election. On October 24, Looper was arrested for assassinating his opponent. Due to the way Tennessee law was structured at the time, the deceased Burks was removed from the ballot while the arrested-but-not-convicted Looper remained as the sole candidate on the ballot. Senator Burks’s widow was drafted into launching a write-in campaign for her late husband’s seat. On November 3, 1998, Charlotte Burks won the seat with 30,252 votes versus 1,531 votes for Looper, or a 95.2%-4.8% victory. She continues to hold that Senate seat to this day. In August 2000, Looper was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after the Burks family asked that Looper not be given the death penalty.)
If Stan “The Water Man” Dziecielski and Gary “Water Watch Dog” Langdale win their elections, I am left with this question: What’s next?
- Barack “Commander-in-Chief” Obama
- Mitt “Business Leader” Romney
- Dana “Reagan Speechwriter” Rohrabacher
- Loretta “Financial Analyst” Sanchez
- Tony “Orange County’s Top Prosecutor” Rackauckas
- Todd “Orange County Crime Fighter” Spitzer
- Diane “Taxpayer Advocate” Harkey
- Tom “The Centrist” Daly
- Claudia “College Leader” Alvarez
- Lou “The Taxpayer’s Friend” Correa
- Larry “Safest City in America” Agran
- Tom “Hi Neighbor” Tait
The possibilities are endless!