Among my attempts at avoiding mud-slinging commercials, pre-recorded phone calls, and unfortunately-not-pre-recorded-so-I-can’t-hang-up-on-them-because-I’m-too-dang-polite political surveyors, there is, thank goodness, some entertainment that comes out of elections – at least if you live in Alabama.

The names.

They’re awesome – especially the nicknames that people choose to associate with themselves.

Oddly enough, according to our voting regulations, you can put whatever nickname you want in quotation marks (and you know how I feel about things in quotation marks) in between your first and last name, but you can’t have a title at the beginning of your name, a rule that drove Dr. Robert Bentley, running for Governor, to actually legally change his first name to “Dr.” – so as to make sure to get his full educational credit.

Which, really, was a MUCH better choice than going with the acceptable but really-questionable-sounding Robert “Doctor” Bentley.

(Really!! I’m a “real” doctor!!!)

But. Besides D-R-dot (can I call him that now since it’s his legal name?), let’s talk about the quotey nicknames. They go a long way to help out every stereotype ever associated with our great state… including some of my favorites from the ballots this year…

  • Huey “Hoss” Mack
  • Jesse “J-MAC” McDaniel
  • Kate “Flyfish” Clark (although she sounds like she would fit in better in Alaska with Sarah Palin. If she wants to run down here, she needs to go by Kate “Pro Bass Fisher” Clark.)
  • J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner
  • Randall “Rh” Houston (How would you like us to pronounce that, Rh?? Halfway between a dog bark and a dog growl?)

Besides these guys, there were somehow TWO primary elections in Alabama that had two people with the same names running against each other. So, of course, one of them chose to differentiate with a cheesey quotey nickname…

Bettye Greene ran against Betty Green, and apparently Bettye didn’t seem to think that her parent’s extraneous use of e’s made her stand out enough, so she chose to be listed as “Bettye K. “Mama” Greene.

Unfortunately, Betty without all the e’s beat her out.

But in the Thomas Jackson v. Thomas Jackson race, the one that chose to go with Thomas “Action” Jackson was came out on top.

So people apparently vote for action, but not for their Mamas.

Without even needing nicknames, there are, of course, there are plenty of candidates that sound like they could make up a whole cast of a remake of The Beverly Hillbillies: Emma Jean, Bobby Lou Leigh, Benny Jo, Bettye Fine, Butch, and Champ.

Somehow, though, in a miraculous turn of fate, not a single Bubba.

But my awards for the top four most awesomely memorable names on the ballots this year are all, apparently, their real names.

So really, they can’t be blamed – their parents can. Or maybe their parents should be commended for their foresight – because they certainly have the advantage of name recognition.

The awards go to:

4. Luther Strange

3. Sandra Schimmelpfennig

2. Twinkle Cavanaugh

And, finally, everyone’s favorite candidate, the ever-grave-and-quite-temperate looking

1. Young Boozer.youngboozer-hs-500

And yes, just like he says in his commercial, that IS his real name. And he IS running for Treasurer. And we SHOULD trust him with our money, even if he IS a Young Boozer.

Are your state’s ballots this entertaining, too?

12 thoughts on “Votin’ In The South

  1. I frequently put the phone on speaker and set it on the counter and just listen to them babble while I go on with my day. Where the enjoyment comes from though is when they realize no one is actually "on" :D the line and they start saying, "hello", "hello", "is anyone there" and then after a moments silence they hang up. :D They want to waste my time, I'll waste theirs in a much more entertaining way.

  2. I knew you were going to have to mention him. What a name! I have to admit I like Twinkle Cavanaugh's name though. It sounds so happy and perky. She has to be a nice person with that name, right?

  3. Oh, and if I do, on occasion, hang up on them, I love it when the call back and naively (or not so smartly) say, "I'm sorry we must have gotten disconnected". "Duh, I hung up."

  4. Too funny rachel! My boyfriend is actually Dr. Robert Bentley's executive assistant. You should know that the reason for the change was mostly because they were allowing another candidate to use "Judge" in front of his name (when it was a title), but not allowing Dr. Bentley to put "Dr." in front of his name. Even when he changed his legal name to "Doctor Robert Bentley" they (the powers that be – whoever they are) still would not let him use what is now his legal name. Politics, eh? …Anywho! The names are extremely entertaining!

    p.s. – Dr. Bentley did change his name back to his given name :) And if you can get past Young Boozer's name, I think most people will find he is one of the most intellectually sound politicians around

  5. As a transplant to Alabama I must say local politics are QUITE comical… I especially appreciated the inappropriate religious references in the Q&A with the local attorney candidates. (made up, but not entirely far-fetched) Q. What kind of eggs do you like A. Scrambled, I think Jesus pick scrambled if he were alive today! Really? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China – oh yes we are in the bible belt and many people vote based on the candidates religious convection not their actual stance! :)

  6. I did not know that Robert Bentley had changed his name. He is my husband's cousin but had no idea. His real name is Robert Julian Bentley. I have been working on the family history on the Bentley side. Robert Bentley's father and my husband's grandfather were brothers. It has been so much fun finding all the Bentley ancestors.

  7. Calls? What calls?

    Commercials, howeve, amke me made…especially all the mudslinging between Barnes and Deal-honestly, they act like 5 year olds. I don't even know what they are promising to do because they are so busy putting each other down and talking about cows (for real).

  8. If my name was Young Boozer, I think I'd be too embarrassed to run for a public office…or I'd change my name before I ran.

  9. Wow, what mean parents! If my name was Young Boozer I would definitely have to go down to the courthouse and change it! At least you have an amusing ballot. :)

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