Earp, Fife for Clayton County sheriff?

By Justin Boron

Victor Hill may be the new sheriff coming to town. But at least one voter in Clayton County preferred that legendary lawman Wyatt Earp get the job.

Earp was one of the many write-in votes for sheriff that got tossed out of the Nov. 2 election once they did not qualify as valid candidates.

Faced with Earp's history of gritty law enforcement, from cow towns like Dodge City to mining boomtowns like Tombstone, Hill said he would have conceded before the election if he knew Earp was in the running.

"I would have thrown my support behind him and been his chief deputy," he said.

Although several votes were cast for current Sheriff Stanley Tuggle, who was defeated in the primary, Hill was willing to have fun with the 360-name write in list.

"I think write-in candidates are part of the fun of politics.

"There's humor in every profession, even in law enforcement," he said. "It just goes to show the importance of running a strong campaign even if you're uncontested, because you have to face all of the write-ins."

Gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson was another notable sheriff write-in. Thompson had run for sheriff in Pitkins County, Colo. in 1970 on the Freak Power ticket but was defeated.

Barney Fife of Mayberry also was written in as sheriff.

"I should've tried to get him on my team," Hill said.

Almost 4,000 write-in entries had to be discarded in Clayton County because they did not match valid candidates, said Annie Bright, the director of elections and registration.

District Attorney-elect Jewell Scott faced her own slew of write-in candidates in the general election.

Mary Poppins and Clint Eastwood were two of her toughest contenders.

When asked why she thought someone would choose Eastwood over her, she said, "I guess because he's a rough, tough guy.

"He's played every different role, except D.A."

Most of Scott's write-in opposition fell in the "Anybody but her" category.

Scott said she did not mind and chalked the votes up to a faction of people unhappy that current District Attorney Bob Keller lost the election.

"I know there are a lot of people tied to the current administration," she said.

For president, several voters cast the typical cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Even actor Will Smith got a vote.

But the largest write-in vote recipient was Ralph Nader.