07/03/06 — OPINION -- Political epidemic

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OPINION -- Political epidemic

By Gene Price
Published in News on July 3, 2006 1:47 PM


Don't fret about a pandemic of avian flu.

We're already beset by an epidemic that spreads across this state -- and probably others -- every couple of years.

People suddenly are seized by an irresistible compulsion to urge others to run for public office.

And there is no known immunity or treatment. This probably can be attributed to the fact that victims historically defy identification.

As this is written, there are unmistakable indications that we are in the early stages of the epidemic season.

Already a couple of folks have let it be known that "a number of people" have been urging them to run for governor. (And a few days ago a Durham lawyer admitted he has been beset by suggestions that he become a write-in candidate for district attorney.)

Almost invariably the ones who have been approached insist that they, personally, had not entertained any notions about becoming candidates, but ... .

And we then are treated to an in-depth dissertation of concerns over the cost of government, unmet needs, illegal immigration and, of course, "jobs and education!"

There's nothing new about this periodic plague among those interested in politics.

More than half a century ago, the late State Senator Ralph Scott -- brother of Governor/Senator W. Kerr Scott and uncle of Bob Scott -- referred to its existence.

"Uncle Ralph" was a respected and colorful member of the General Assembly.

The political reporter of a major newspaper was interviewing him on what motivated one to run for office.

"Uncle Ralph" contemplated the question as he relocated his "chaw."

"I can only speak for myself," he finally drawled. "But what I do, is I go down to the country store and 'set' around for a spell. Then I confide to folks that 'a lot of people' have been encouraging me to run. Then I go home and wait for the phone to ring."

"And does it ring?" inquired the reporter.

"Wal, I don't remember that it ever does," grinned "Uncle Ralph," "So I just mosey on down to the elections office and file anyway."

EDITOR'SNOTE: Gene and Gloria Price have a new home phone number -- 919- 583-9292.


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