The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, September 30, 2002  

Who Could Ever Replace Patsy Mink?

We note with sadness the passing of Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), age 74, on Saturday, Sept. 28, of viral pneumonia arising from a case of the chicken pox.

A member of the House of Representatives for 24 years, Rep. Mink, known to her crudest opponents as “Patsy Pink” because of her determined liberalism, had just recently won the Democratic primary -- again -- in preparation for running for another term in the House of Representatives in November.

Rep. Mink’s unfortunate demise has important implications for the upcoming elections: She died two days after the deadline that would have had her name taken off the November ballot. As a result, when Hawaii voters go to the polls on Nov. 5, Rep. Mink’s name will be on the ballot, in opposition to Republican Bob McDermott, a state legislator.

“If she is reelected posthumously, the seat will be declared vacant and a special election will be held to choose a successor,” according to Ron Staten of the Associated Press. Given the predominance of Democrats over Republicans in the great -- very great -- state of Hawaii, a seat for the party of reason would be virtually assured.

Just as the very dead Gov. Mel Carnahan (D-Mo.) defeated the loathsome and apparently alive John Ashcroft -- who is now, astonishingly, the attorney general of the U.S. -- in the Missouri Senate race in 2000, leading his wife, Jean Carnahan, to take the seat in contention, something quite similar, though most likely less unusual, could happen in Hawaii.

The message to Hawaiians: Vote for the dead candidate.

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