If the week before Masters was the announcement time for candidates for the school board chairmanship, this coming week seems to be the time for county commission kickoffs.
And because everything in politics these days is the same old retreaded rhetoric, like deja vu all over again - to quote the fumble-phrased Yogi Berra - this is a season for cliches.
Well, commentary that's full of them, anyway.
First out of the blocks this past week, Republican Ron Thigpen announced his intentions Friday to run for the District 1 County Commission seat currently held by Steve Brown, who isn't seeking re-election. Thigpen will be joined in the race Monday when Democrat Scott Nichols formally tosses his hat in the ring.
"Out of the blocks" is an apt cliche, a phrase referring to the blocks from which runners push off to start their race.
As for tossing your hat in the ring, according to the Circus World Museum's Web site the well-worn phrase originated at the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson entered the tent to the sounds of the circus band playing "Hail to the Chief" and threw his hat into the center ring to announce his re-election bid.
I don't expect anyone to toss any hats this week, but imagine there will be a few verbal chapeaus lobbed - or rhetorical grenades thrown.
With the Democrats unable to field more than a handful of candidates locally - and "handful" is generous; I'll be surprised if Nichols is able to convince more of his party cohorts to run in very Republican Columbia County - there probably won't be any primary opposition for Nichols.
The question will be if Thigpen gets a Republican challenger. Unlike District 4, which drew five candidates the last time there was an open seat, District 1 has had just two candidates duking it out in the last couple of elections: Steve Brown beat Frank Spears, who four years earlier beat Bill Bohling.
The cliche "duke it out," by the way, has an odd origin. It's apparently from an old Cockney rhyme, "Put up your forks/put up your Duke of Yorks," in which "forks" is a slang term for hands, as in "fork over the money." Along the way it was shortened to "put up your dukes," meaning raise your hands to prepare to fight.
The school board chairmanship, for the first time this year a countywide elected position, also remains a two-way race, with Regina Buccafusco and Lawrence Hammond squaring off.
OK, OK: The term "squaring off" is an early boxing term; when the British began to somewhat standardize the sport inside a square, roped-off platform, fighters would put up their dukes and "square off" in a fighting stance to begin.
Hopefully there won't be any real punches thrown this year. But what's unsure is whether former Board member Lee Muns will toss his hat in the ring, or whether retired Richmond County assistant superintendent and former Columbia County principal Gene Sullivan will decide to run.
I don't know about Muns, but Sullivan seems inclined not to run. He hasn't exactly said "no" yet, but he's made a lot of foot-shuffling noises that sound a lot like "Aww, I don't wanna...."
Seriously, a mutual friend says Sullivan doesn't like to deal with confrontation and contention, and as anyone who watches any school board will tell you, things aren't always sweetness and light for school officials.
All right, last one: the phrase "sweetness and light" was coined in 1704 by Jonathan Swift, and refers literally to the products of bees: honey and wax (as in candles).
As for the pending rematch between incumbent County Commission Chairman Ron Cross and re-challenger Andy Kingery, we'll be on pins and needles waiting for their formal announcements.
Look that cliche up yourself. I don't wanna.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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