“Neighbors who have lived next door to him for years say they’ve seen the 53-year-old man only occasionally, when he takes out the trash from the home he shares with his parents…Neither the district nor the registrar has a phone number on file for him, and nobody answered the door at his home. Somehow, though, without mounting a real campaign, filing a candidate’s statement or showing up at a community forum, he managed to upset his formidable opponent, Phil Martinez…
“He’s become a bit of an urban legend, a kind of political Loch Ness monster or Sasquatch. ‘I haven’t met him, that I know of,’ said outgoing Trustee Bob Viviano. ‘I hear he’s kind of a recluse, but then that’s just hearsay.’ Said Trustee Kim Nichols: ‘You hear things because people are desperately trying to find some info on him. I heard he rides his bike. He likes garage sales. He hangs out at a 7-Eleven. I don’t know if any of that is true.’
“When the district sent him mail during the campaign, it was returned unopened. He was invited to a PTA candidates forum via registered mail. That letter came back marked ‘Refused’…
“He ran for mayor of Santa Ana in 2000 and for the Rancho Santiago Community College District board in 2002. He tried to also run in Santa Ana for mayor in 2002, but that candidacy was nullified because the two offices were incompatible. There has been one unconfirmed sighting of him at a city forum, wearing military fatigues.”
the people are always right.
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, among other things. Before that, he was a staff writer and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (More.)
Any opinions expressed here are solely mine, and not those of my employer. In many cases, they may not even be mine.