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1:55 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

In Tied Race, Candidate's Wife Didn't Vote

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 5:23 pm

Here's a lighter story to round-out this election week.

On Tuesday, 27-year-old Bobby McDonald ran for one of six city council seats in the town of Walton, Ky., population 3,724.

"The night of Election Day, I was watching the results come in," he told NPR's Guy Raz. "And I ended up in a tie with the other candidate."

McDonald was tied 669-669 with his opponent, Olivia Ballou.

"There're many ways you can tie," McDonald said. "But in my situation, I let my wife sleep in and not go vote that day. And she's mad at me cause I did not wake her up."

The McDonalds, like a lot of Americans on an average weekday, are busy. They have three kids. Bobby has a day job managing the family business, a campground. His wife is a nursing student and also works at a local hospital.

"She just worked her first-ever, four-day, 12-hour-plus shift. Plus, she's doing her last couple months of nursing school. So she pretty much counts the hours that she sleeps on one hand," he said.

"I thought I was being the nice guy letting her sleep in," he adds. "I thought I was well-known enough — campaigned enough, talked to enough people — that I didn't need to interrupt her sleep to get elected. But I did."

Now, if no candidate wants a recount, they'll decide the race with a coin flip. It looks like that's what will happen. In the meantime, a lot of people have been calling since McDonald's story appeared in a local paper.

"You know, a couple days ago you Googled my name and you came up with nothing. Today you Google my name and you've got stories from the Huff-Po and USA Today and Fox News. I got a call from Anderson Cooper Live saying that they want to talk to me."

McDonald thought that one was a joke, until he Googled the area code of the producer who contacted him: 212. But he's not sure if he'll make the trip to Manhattan.

"No, I think this is just my 15 minutes of fame, and it's going to run out eventually."

McDonald says he'll use that 15 minutes to lobby for early voting in Kentucky — currently not provided for under state law.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

One more election story for you. This week, 27-year-old Bobby McDonald ran for one of six city council seats in the town of Walton, Kentucky. Now, the race ended in a tie. McDonald and one other candidate each got 669 votes, but how?

BOBBY MCDONALD: Well, there's many ways you can tie. But in my situation, I let my wife sleep in and not go vote that day. And she's mad at me because I did not wake her up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Now, the McDonalds are a busy family: three kids, Bobby manages the family business; it's a campground. His wife is a nursing student, and she also works at a local hospital.

MCDONALD: So she pretty much counts the hours that she sleeps on one hand. I thought I was well-known enough, campaigned well enough, you know, that I didn't need to interrupt her sleep to get elected.

RAZ: Now, if neither candidate asks for a recount, the race will be decided by a flip of a coin. It looks like that's what's going to happen. Meantime, a lot of people have been calling Bobby since his story appeared in a local paper.

MCDONALD: I had folks from USA Today and Fox News. And I had a call from "Anderson Cooper Live" that they wanted to talk to me. So...

RAZ: Bobby, do you have an agent?

MCDONALD: Do I have an agent? No.

(LAUGHTER)

MCDONALD: No. I think this is just my 15 minutes of fame, and it's going to run out eventually. So...

RAZ: Bobby says he'll use those 15 minutes to lobby for early voting in Kentucky, which he hopes will save people lots of time and frustration. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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