Brock Carroll assured me he wasn’t serious.
Well, I take that back. Carroll was serious, he said, about wanting to make sure kids in the Puyallup School District don’t get hungry. It’s a big problem, he believes, and one reason why the 26-year-old massage therapist is running for school board.
But that part about bringing back the death penalty to pay for feeding the kids, as Carroll floated in his candidate statement in the Pierce County voters’ guide?
Yeah, that was more of a “figure of speech,” he conceded.
That’s certainly one way to describe it.
Another would be grade-A bumper sticker material.
“We need to give the inmates their last meal so we can give our children their first meal,” the first-time candidate proclaims in his voters’ guide walk-off line.
Reached by phone Monday, Carroll acknowledged, “A lot of people were curious or just kind of dumbfounded” by his statement.
“I don’t plan on bringing back the death penalty,” he added, for clarification. “I was trying to catch the attention of voters.”
Mission accomplished, Mr. Carroll. Well played.
Hopefully you haven’t recycled this year’s voters’ guide yet because Carroll’s line is one of many hidden gems offered by candidates of all shapes and sizes.
Of course, our democracy — particularly on the local level — depends on everyday citizens stepping up and running for office. Most of them — aside from the perennial and perennially annoying attention seekers — deserve credit and thanks for their willingness to do so. It takes guts and dedication.
The voters’ guide, meanwhile, is essential reading for prospective voters trying to make sense of the many races, referendums and advisory votes in front of them.
But the voters’ guide can also be — how do I say this diplomatically? — downright entertaining at times?
Yeah, that feels right.
A quick perusal of this election’s installment doesn’t disappoint.
In Orting, a school board candidate, like Whitney Houston, truly believes “the children are the future.” So true.
In Auburn, a volunteer chaplain — who also happens to be a retired radio DJ and truck driver — is running for City Council.
“I am not politically correct,” the candidate writes in the voter’s guide, providing fair warning. “What you see is what you get.”
Good to know.
In Clover Park, when asked about his community service, a candidate for the school board proudly notes that he’s been “Married to Linda 45 years.”
Thanks for your sacrifice, I guess?
Then there’s Rick Payne, a candidate for Bethel school board.
Payne, interested voters’ guide readers will learn, is a Mt. Tahoma grad with a background in union work, including plenty of negotiating.
How much negotiating, one might wonder?
Glad you asked ...
“Rick has been in negotiation on behalf of union members fighting for the wages, benefits, retirement and working conditions,” Payne’s statement begins, fooling the reader into believing a sentence is about to end when, really, one is just getting started, “with cities, county, state, school dist. construction workers as well as coke cola, Beer, Pepsi, ups, correction officers, nurses, truck drivers, warehouse workers and so on too many to list.”
That is a lot of negotiating.
When it comes to experience, however, John Linboe — who is running unopposed for a commissioner position in Fire District No. 17 — will not be outdone.
Is Linboe up for the job? The current aerospace-industry tooling inspector certainly believes so. He’s got a lengthy resume, and a solid education, he notes,
Oh, and he’s also served as the swine superintendent at the Pierce County Fair for the last “three or four years,” he tells The News Tribune.
What, exactly, does the job of county fair swine superintendent entail?
“Pigs,” Lindboe said simply.
“Basically, I just coordinate stuff with the manager of the fair, and set up the showing for the pigs,” Linboe, 56, explained. “It’s kind of a year-round job, too.”
Linboe, who said he raises pigs, horses and other animals on the side, said he got into swine superintending through his daughter, who was involved in 4-H when she was younger.
“It’s really cool to watch the kids grow up and see what they do with their life,” Lindboe said.
Speaking of cool, it would be hard to beat Kevin Andre White, who’s running for DuPont City Council.
White’s platform is all about leadership, and building an unbeatable team — specifically, “Team DuPont.”
White is really, really into it.
“A team is a group of people that come together for a common purpose,” White told The News Tribune, before citing the Super Bowl winning Seahawks and the Department of Defense as examples.
“We get into these groups and we want to fight with each other, instead of being Team DuPont, Team Washington and Team America,” White continued. “Once we become Team DuPont, Team Washington and Team America, we will be great.”
Want to talk about teamwork — or anything else — with White?
In the voters’ guide, he encourages people to reach out, while he’s “at home” or while he’s “driving the white Mustang.”
White, you see, is the proud owner of a 2015 white Ford Mustang convertible.
He’s really, really into it, too.
As a kid, White says, he always wanted a 1965 Mustang, and the 2015 model has a similar body type.
“On any hot sunny day — actually, it doesn’t have to be hot — I’m not leaving my house without the roof being down,” White says of his convertible.
“It’s called a convertible for a reason, and therefore the roof will never go up, unless I’m caught by surprise in a Washington drizzle,” he continues. “But it’s got to be a hard drizzle. If it’s a soft drizzle, the top stays down.”
You’ve got to appreciate a candidate with conviction.
By email, after our phone conversation, White provided photographic proof of his white Mustang convertible.
The News Tribune has confirmed the car is totally awesome.