What's in a name? A future in politics, sometimes. A familiar-sounding moniker is thought to have most famously aided the election 10 years ago of state Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson. With a paltry $1,000 campaign chest, the little-known Gig Harbor lawyer with the Everyman name knocked off incumbent Chief Justice Keith Callow (and in 1996 won reelection against a man named Doug Smith). This time around, name commonality may help two other high court candidates: Seattle attorney Tom Chambers (remember the former Sonic by that name?) and Jim Foley, the Raymond attorney who doesn't mind being confused with former Spokane congressman and House Speaker (now US ambassador to Japan) Tom Foley. (In an earlier high court bid, Jim Foley lost to Faith Ireland, who surely cornered the Irish Catholic vote).
But if your name helps, don't fight it. Linda Evans Miller is on the state Senate ballot and Randy Johnson has tossed his cap into the state legislative ring, willing to accept any voting confusion created by like-named TV and baseball stars. Puns help, too: Rosemary Greenlaw is running for the Legislature as an environmental candidate (one of her opponents is Roger Bush). Then there are history-invoking state candidates such as FDR (Franklin D.R. Wilson III), Ike (the nickname of William Eickmeyer), Nixon (Toby) and Churchill (Vickie). There's also a Shepard (Richard) and a Pope (Richard). Well-known incumbent Jim McDermott is running again for Congress while less-known Joe McDermott is making a bid for state rep. And once again, lobbyists at least are expecting good things from the portentously named incumbent state legislator, Bill Grant.
The top name race this year, however, is over in Yakima. Among the District 14 state representative candidates is Republican Jim Morrison. That of course was the name of the Doors' legendary singer. It's also the name of one of Morrison's opponents—Democrat Jim R. Morrison. The possibility looms that Jim Morrison could face Jim Morrison in the November finals. Obviously, only one gets out alive.