Local Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is leaving office at the end of his current term. As usual, a few candidates lined up for the chance to take his place. At the moment, one of them in particular seems sure to win the primary race next week. That would be… Fitzpatrick?!? Yes… but not Mike. His brother Brian Fitzpatrick is running to take the office.
Now, to the part I find interesting, and perhaps even a touch devious. Brian’s campaign signs are colored and stylized just like Mike’s signs were in previous elections. They boldly proclaim the last name, “Fitzpatrick”, listing the first name in much smaller text. Brian has also been keeping a very low profile. He has had limited interactions with the press and is generally trying to stay out of the limelight. This is by design.
The strategy is clever – hope no one notices that you’re not actually your brother, and gain the advantage of being the incumbent, without actually, well, you know… being the incumbent. Based on the little bit of poking around I did on Brian Fitzpatrick’s website, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between him and his brother. So even though I find the tactic a bit devious, as it relies upon the assumption that most voters are ignorant or gullible (they are), I suppose that most voters won’t really be that upset when they figure out they’ve been tricked. They wanted Fitzpatrick, and they will get Fitzpatrick… and all of the same lousy policy positions his brother has maintained for the last several years.
I imagine that Brian will come out of hiding for the general election, but for now, he’s hoping everyone thinks he’s Mike.
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