By CHRIS BATEMAN
The polls are open.
Not for Californias primary election, but for Mother Lode Roundup Honorary Town Marshal.
Forget Davis, Riordan, Simon and Jones. Those guys cant hope to fill the cowboy boots of Wimpy Jones or Mut Mutzner.
Only Tuolumne County voters who clip ballots from todays Union Democrat on Page 5B decide who will be heir to the badges worn by those two.
Voting under the Tuolumne County Sheriffs Posses rules is simple:
Fill out a ballot. Copies are also available at The Democrat office, 84 S. Washington St., Sonora.
Bring it, fax it (532-6451) or send it to the paper, the lone polling place for the town marshal election.
Please, vote just once.
Dont cast ballots for dogs, cats, horses or other prank candidates. Votes for Lassie, Socks or Cricket, although they may be laughed at, will not be counted.
Vote by Friday, March 15, this years absolute deadline.
Wait for the results, which will be announced the following week.
The town marshal is the peoples choice, said Ty Wivell, Roundup general chairman for the sponsoring sheriffs posse. So were holding an election in the fine tradition of American politics.
So will marshal candidates get soft money contributions? Will big-bucks campaigns be run by out-of-county hacks? Will certain candidates get others into the race to split the vote? Can we voters expect 11th-hour hit pieces questioning the ethics, ancestry and masculinity (or femininity) of front runners?
But more likely well be wondering whether famed cross-country hiker Matt Mattingly can rebound from his second-place finish a year ago and walk away with the 2002 marshals badge? Or if Sharon Marovich, who placed third in last years tally, can become the first female marshal? Or who might emerge from the field C. Brent Wallace? John Buckley? The Call Jesus Man? to grab the badge.