It’s just politics

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

So Clinton Jenkins and Johnnie Edwards were each asked to consider dropping out of the race for the Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk position. While that might be worthy of conversation around the office water cooler, it’s hardly scandalous. If anything, it’s just politics.

It stands to reason that if both men were in the race, it could split the vote.

When there is more than one candidate of a particular political position (Democrat or Republican, for example), race or sex, it would give voters more choices at the polls but would ultimately reduce the chances of winning for any of those in a certain category; there wouldn’t be enough votes to overcome the competition.

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In this case, having two black men seeking the clerk’s position could well mean that a black person may not be successful at all. We hasten to add that Tony Brown is also a black candidate, but remains curiously absent from the quest. Barbara Gayle, Kirk Pretlow, Robert Nelms, and Randy Carter would each stand a better chance of winning.

We’re not suggesting that either Jenkins or Edwards (or anyone else, for that matter) stay or drop out. To date, both have declared that they have no intention to leave.

If an informal poll is taken within the black community about supporting one or another on Election Day, then both men may reconsider their decision. But owing to the timing, their names will remain on the ballot.