I’m feeling kind of left out of things these days.
It looks like I’m just about the only guy around who hasn’t declared myself as a candidate for either the Miami County sheriff’s job or the congressional seat vacated by John Boehner.
I have to admit I have lost count of how many people actually are running. It seems like every day someone new jumps into the fray.
Charles Cox has been sheriff in Miami County since about the beginning of time — well, really only since 1988. It just seems like forever. John Boehner became our congressman in 1991 before bailing out late last year. They’ve both been around so long most people forget who came before them.
In case you’re keeping score, Cox followed Luther Dunfee as sheriff. Boehner took over for Buz Lukens after Lukens provided us with our very own sex scandal.
I guess it’s been so long since anyone else has had either job that a lot of people think they had better try to get in now while they can. Who knows how long the next guy will stay?
Traditionally, the Miami County sheriff usually stays holed up in the office while his deputies do the work on the streets, coming out only occasionally to fight with the commissioners or maybe a judge. Fights between the sheriff and various other county officials have a long history around here, and we can only hope the new sheriff keeps up the tradition. It gives us something to talk about and keeps the sheriff off the streets.
I can remember back when Thurman Adkins was sheriff and it seemed like he and the county commissioners would get into a wild fight just about every time they walked by each other in the halls at the safety building. The commissioners even tried to kick him out of office. After Adkins, Dunfee tried to reorganize the sheriff’s department and call all the deputies “agents” like they were all from the FBI or something. We all knew they were deputies, they all knew they were deputies, and when Cox got elected he went back to calling them all deputies, too. It sure made life simpler.
Cox has had some serious health issues over the past couple years and often has been absent from work. It has given all those potential sheriffs lots of time to make plans to take over.
The congressman thing is a little more complicated. When Boehner took over for Lukens, no one around here figured that someday he would become Speaker of the House. The only trouble is, once he became speaker he found out it wasn’t such a great job. He ended up feeling like the Charge of the Light Brigade – you know, cannon to the left of him, cannon to the right of him. Democrats sniped at him, Republicans sniped at him and eventually he just told them all to take the job and do you know what with it.
My suggestion for the new congressman is to keep your head down and try not to become speaker. Being a congressman is a great job. You get to hang out in all the cool places in Washington and let your staff take care of your constituents. You can pretty much have the job forever around here as long as you don’t pull a Buz Lukens or unless you get re-districted into a district that actually includes some Democrats. I have to admit, that certainly would make elections a lot more interesting. The worst Boehner ever did here was winning with 61 percent of the vote back in his first election in 1990. Sometimes, the Democrats wouldn’t even bother running anyone against him.
It will seem odd to have a normal congressman again. We’ve become accustomed to having Boehner show up in the national news all the time. If I traveled out of town and politics came up, I could always say, “Hey, John Boehner’s my congressman” just to see how people would react. Half of the time, they looked at me like I was some kind of celebrity. The other half, they would get a wild look in their eyes and cross their arms like I was some kind of vampire. I won’t be able to do that anymore. The new guy will probably have to jump out a window at the Capitol to get noticed during his first few terms.
The last time I looked, there were 15 people who had filed to run for Boehner’s seat in the Republican primary. What do they think this is, the race for the Republican nomination for president? There also is one Democrat and one Green Party guy. The primary election is March 15, so we’d better start trying to figure out who all these people are. At least it won’t be boring.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.