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the Body Politic
Vol. 09, No. 01 - Jan/Feb 1999, Page 14
Copyright © 1999 by the Body Politic Inc.

Terry Trounced

By Anne Bower

Just as I predicted, Randall Terry did NOT go to DC as my representative from the 26th Congressional District. Not only did he lose, but after spending a million dollars, Terry hardly got any more votes in the general election than he did in the primary.

With astonishing hubris, Terry was quoted in the papers saying the Republicans really needed him if they were going to beat Hinchey in the next election. The head of the Broome County Republican Party responded by saying Mr. Terry was a "legend in his own mind" and his party didn't need anyone who could spend a million dollars and get only seven percent of the vote.

Terry's losses began with the primary where he did not succeed in becoming the Republican standard bearer for the general election. Not only did Republicans soundly reject him but so did the district's Conservatives. This left Terry the only option of running on the Right-to-Life Party line, which he of course did, since he was running to poison the political waters as much as to win.

The winner in the Republican Party primary was William "Bud" Walker, an apple farmer and radio station owner from the far side of the district. Walker and the Republicans spent a lot of money in the primary attacking Terry with a slew of mailings and TV commercials. Terry's campaign report filings showed him spending a great deal of money on mailings, but little of it went into the district for the campaign. Most was spent outside the disrict raising gobs of money the vast majority of which was spent on the primary, to no avail.

A few days after the primary, a report appeared in our local papers saying that Bud Walker was engaged in a law suit with the state of Massachusetts over their characterization of him as a child abuser. Apparently, Walker, the family man, was really on his second family after a messy divorce. His wife had claimed Walker abused the children -- a claim rejected by New York State during a custody battle; but Massachusetts, where his former wife resided, had sided with her. It was Terry who brought that juicy tidbit to the attention of the Gannett newsservice.

After that revelation, Walker became the invisible man, refusing to show up at any event, however important (such as public debates) if Terry was present. His campaign virtually disappeared leaving the stage to Hinchey and Terry. (Walker wasn't even available election evening and his campaign said they didn't know where he was.) Even so, Walker still captured 30% of the vote, while Hinchey was re-elected by an amazing 63% leaving Terry with 7% -- not much to show for a million dollars.

With astonishing hubris, Terry was quoted in the papers saying the Republicans really needed him if they were going to beat Hinchey in the next election. The head of the Broome County Republican Party responded by saying Mr. Terry was a "legend in his own mind" and his party didn't need anyone who could spend a million dollars and get only seven percent of the vote.

Just as the local reproductive rights community thought they couldn't celebrate any more, three days after the election Terry filed for bankruptcy providing us with a delightful on-going soap opera that appears it will be entertaining for some time. As I write this, the court appointed Terry estate trustee has scheduled yet another hearing for January 28th because the court has yet to determine how much money Terry is making off his many publications.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Terryland.


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