Wednesday, October 12, 2005

And in this corner...

Harry Dunbar, a long-time community activist and once a candidate for county council, has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for county executive.

Dunbar is not your run of the mill politician. Indeed, he ran as an independent in 1986 and most recently worked for a Republican candidate in 2002. But at this point, he's the only one to officially announce his candidacy and therefore stands the best chance of winning.

Acting outside the county Democratic establishment, Dunbar's announcement comes as other potential candidates continue to weigh their options. Needless to say, the county's top Democrats weren't singing his praises.

"He almost does things for shock value," said C. Vernon Gray, the five-term former county councilman who defeated Dunbar two decades ago.

"No one knows where he's coming from, ever," said County Council Chairman Guy Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat who has said he will not run for county executive. "He runs around with Republican T-shirts on and says he's a Democrat." Said West Columbia Democrat Ken Ulman, a possible candidate for county executive: "I can say confidently that makes absolutely no difference in my decision-making process."

In other nomination news, I'd like to nominate Sun reporter Larry Carson for understatement of the year for prefacing the Democrats' responses with: "Some Democrats were skeptical of Dunbar's chances."

Skeptical? I've tossed around many insults in my day, so I have a pretty good idea of what they look like. And, the above responses are not as much skeptical as they are insulting. And, no, this statement is not meant to insult or portray skepticism. I'm just calling it like I see it.

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