There's a message here somewhere.
As cartoonist BJ Wood and others have pointed out, the horse Hillary Clinton picked in the Kentucky Derby came in second - losing to a horse named Big Brown.
At least if she doesn't win the Democratic party's nomination, Hillary won't have to worry about suffering Eight Belles' awful fate: the filly broke both front legs and was euthanized after Saturday's race.
Speaking of Democrats, for the first time I can remember there will be no local Democratic candidates on Columbia County's ballots this fall.
When qualifying ended at noon Friday, no Democrats had signed up for any local races. With no Republicans offering primary challenges, that means automatic new terms for Sheriff Clay Whittle, Probate Judge Pat Hardaway, Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, Clerk of Court Cindy Mason and Chief Magistrate Wade Padgett.
It also means Coroner Vernon Collins wins his first full term without opposition and Trey Allen will replace retiring County Commissioner Tommy Mercer by default. State Sen. Bill Jackson and state Rep. Barbara Sims also win without a challenge.
For the rest of the local races, the Republican Primary July 15 will pick the winner. Lee Anderson and Brett McGuire will compete for the state House 117 seat formerly held by Barry Fleming, and Deanne Hall and Charles Allen will seek Diane Ford's seat on the county commission.
Meanwhile, in the only race against an incumbent, Lee Benedict is challenging state Rep. Ben Harbin for the 118th District House seat. That race will also be decided in the Republican primary. It probably wouldn't have been a race at all if Harbin's 2007 DUI had been resolved by now.
Regarding that arrest, last week Benedict sent a letter to Atlanta Police Chief Richard J. Pennington. Referencing a story from Richard Rogers at WRDW-TV 12, Benedict called on Pennington to investigate if the police officer who arrested Harbin was hoodwinked into failing to show up for Harbin's license revocation hearing last August.
When the officer didn't show up in court, Harbin got his license back - even though the law calls for a one-year suspension when a driver refuses a DUI test, as Harbin did after hitting a utility pole in Atlanta.
Back to those other races: The Democrats won't have a totally blank ballot July 15, though. While Scott Dean and David Payne are Republicans, their race to fill Lee Anderson's seat on the county commission is a non-partisan special election. Their names will appear on both ballots. Barry Davis and Theoplis Knight also will be on both ballots in Grovetown in the race to fill the seat of the late David Daughtry.
Bobby Culpepper also will be on both ballots for Harlem mayor, but no one else signed up to run.
Ellen Paschal Thomas
When Ellen Paschal was born Feb. 7, 1932, my grandparents already had three sons. So Great-grandma Griffin was naturally anxious about the gender of Lloyd and Annie Laurie Paschal's fourth child.
Soon after Aunt Ellen's birth, Grandma Griffin arrived at my grandparents' Winfield home, where her son-in-law met her outside.
"What did she have, Lloyd?" Grandma Griffin asked.
"Twin boys," answered my mischievous grandfather.
"What did you name them?" she asked.
"'Plenty' and 'Too Many,'" Granddaddy wisecracked.
Thus did my Aunt Ellen enter the world to laughter. And though there was significant sadness at Ellen Thomas' passing last week, there also is joy that she is no longer having to fight cancer - and that she has rejoined Granddaddy for laughter in the hereafter.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
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