An Election in the Naked City
Some cities have strange elections, but others have elections that are just plain bizarre. Take the New York suburb of Jersey City, N.J.
What happened in this fall's Jersey City mayor's race? You name it. It happened. Campaign signs were torn down, vicious "push-polls" were launched (this is where people call voters ostensibly to conduct public opinion surveys but actually to spread damaging rumors), and then there were the dead animals. Dead animals? Somebody kept leaving dead animals on the doorsteps of one candidate's campaign offices.
But the most bizarre incident of all was when photographs of one of the candidates appeared on the Internet — naked, on his front porch, apparently inebriated, at 3 a.m. Photographs like these might doom candidates in other, more sensitive places. But not Jersey City. (One longtime political observer there said, "I think it's pretty much standard for a Jersey City mayoral election.")
The candidate who was photographed on his front porch admitted he was the one in the pictures. His explanation: He'd been to a party and was undressing for bed when he heard a noise outside. He went out to investigate and fell asleep — naked, on his front porch, at 3 a.m. (A neighbor snapped the pictures.) It took a while to name the winner of this close contest, but a winner was named and said the right things. "It's time to put the backbiting and infighting of the past year in Jersey City and Hudson County behind us," the new mayor said. "It's time for all of us to stand together and unite."
Footnote: And who was the winner? The naked guy, of course. Posted 11/15/2004
Postscript: The naked guy (his name was Jerramiah Healy) was re-elected twice before being defeated in 2013.
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