More Mistaken Political Identities: A Jailed Smith, Wrestling Evans, and WKRP-Composing Wells
Are other D.C. politicos in the same boat? Not quite, but there are individuals out there in the world who share the same name with District pols—for better or worse.
Jeff Smith, who is trying to unseat Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, shares a name with congressional candidate featured in the heart-warming campaign documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? Unfortunately, that Mr. Smith, who would go on to serve in the Missouri State Senate, is serving a prison sentence for his role in trying to cover up a Federal Election Commission investigation into his 2004 congressional campaign. It’s doubtful, however, that any Ward 1 voters will be confused by the other Jeff Smith.
The world of sports, as we’ve noted, has tripped up Michael A. Brown. For Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., who is likely most confused with his sausage-loving ward boss father who held the seat for three terms, there are more athletically talented Harry Thomases in the worlds of Welsh football and Olympic boxing. But like Thomas’ father, the Harry Thomas athletes are deceased, so it’s doubtful there’s much confusion for the councilmember.
Andrew Huff, spokesman for Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, is quite familiar with a professional wrestler who shares a name with his boss. Evans’ office subscribes to a media research service that tracks instances of Jack Evans in the news. And there's a lot of Evans professional wrestling news that is monitored.
Nevertheless, Huff knows his boss, who regularly has to pin down certain council colleagues on finance matters, could stand to benefit from a more fine-tuned wrestling persona.
“We are still working on the councilmember's finishing move and since the 'Marion Barry' is already taken, we've still got some thinking to do,” Huff said in an e-mail, referring to the Ward 8 councilmember and former mayor, who has inspired a type of wrestling move down in Georgia. (But what about Evans' "Space Flying Corkscrew Somersault Plancha?")
Speaking of Marion Barry, there’s an Arkansas congressman who nearly shares the same name.
While Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells isn’t known for being called Thomas Wells, there are plenty of people who share that name or its derivations, from the composer of the theme music for WKRP in Cincinnati (and The New WKRP in Cincinnati!) to a retired U.S. Tax Court judge to the late maritime painter.
For At-Large D.C. Council candidate Clark Ray, there’s a British interior painter with the same name who sort of sounds like a politician running for office:
When it comes to putting paint onto a wall, I believe that there are generally two types of practitioner: the Artist and the Tradesman. I have been fortunate enough to have worked alongside, and learned from, both types of professional.
Sounds convincing, eh?
And you know you can’t pass up clicking on a link that goes to something involving “Jim Graham-Desert Dingo Racing.”
Surely, there are plenty more. Who did we miss?