It’s official: You will see “Kinky” on the ballot, but not “Grandma”.
Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn won’t be allowed to use “Grandma” on the November ballot because it is more of a political slogan than a nickname, Secretary of State Roger Williams ruled today.
Fellow independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, meanwhile, will be listed as Richard “Kinky” Friedman, Williams said.
“Your letter does not articulate any facts that would counter my interpretation that the use of ‘Grandma,’ in the context of Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s name appearing on a ballot, is a slogan and as such is prohibited by the Texas Election Code,” he said in a letter to Strayhorn’s attorney, Roy Minton.
Minton, in a letter to Williams last month, had said Strayhorn was widely known as “Grandma.”
The secretary of state said Strayhorn never has appeared on the ballot as “Grandma” and doesn’t use the name on her official letterhead.
Williams said state law requires Friedman’s given name, Richard, to be listed on the ballot as well as his more commonly known nickname, “Kinky.”
I’m disappointed that SOS Williams didn’t take my advice for how Friedman should appear, but I’ll get over it. This is the right ruling, in my opinion, and however long it took Williams to make up his mind, at least he got it correct in the end.
QR lays out a pretty clear case why Strayhorn lost her bid to be everybody’s Grandma.
The Secretary of State took into account several factors in making this ruling, including:
- Ms. Strayhorn has never appeared on the ballot under the name “Grandma”
- Ms. Strayhorn’s declaration of intent lists her name as Carole Keeton Strayhorn
- Ms. Strayhorn’s petitions list her candidate name as Carole Keeton Strayhorn
- The only reference to “Grandma” in communication with the Secretary of State’s office appears on Ms. Strayhorn’s campaign literature
- The term “Grandma” is not found on any of Ms. Strayhorn’s official letterhead or communication with the Secretary of State
When you put it that way, it’s hard to imagine how she ever thought this would be accepted. Move along, nothing to see here.