The task of filling out a political slate in small counties can be problematic, especially if some of the offices do not have obvious sources of graft to go with them. This was the problem of the up-and-coming Solid American Party (SAP) in Averill County: they did not have a bench of aspirants who might be content to get into the game for mere exposure, unlike the local Republicans and Democrats. In truth, the Solid American Party was regarded as nothing more than a cabal of kooks, tinfoil helmet wearers, and renegades from the acceptable and God-given plan of the two party system.
Some would even label these upstarts as dangerously antithetical to the American Way of Life!
So the Solid American Party faithful scoured for possibilities who had not firmly committed one way or another. They were canny; and wanted to get the women vote. Hopefully, by finding women who represented hard-core family values. And what could be more hard-core than having a commitment to education? Thus, the SAP leadership approached Anne, the Red-Headed Schoolteacher to be their candidate for County Sheriff!
The incumbent Democrat was rumored to be as crooked as a ram's horn; and the Republican candidate was caught in a raid on a brothel. Thus, the possibility of a third party candidate winning was within the realm of reality!
The Red-Headed Schoolteacher had Billy Bob and Bubba on her team; and they persuaded the low-life of the county to register to vote. After all, they recognized having pull with the govamint was a big deal, sho nuff! They met with Long Tall Sally and a local beer distributor to work on the campaign literature (he was the major source of funding for the SAP candidates).
Anyway, what should our perky ginger stand for in County politics and policing? Her brain trust (to use this term loosely) came up with a few ideas:
1. More random license checks on back roads.
2. Morning prayers for both jailers and prisoners to reduce in-jail conflicts.
3. Dressing the chain gang in Virginia Tech sportswear.
4. Conjugal visits for prisoners and jailers.
And there was the elephant in the room: underfunding and underpaying of the sheriff's department.
But, true to form, the primary issue perennially confronting law enforcement in a dry county was enforcement of the local prohibition law. The Democratic candidate reliably got support from some libertines because he ran on a platform of repealing the prohibition law. The Republican ran on a platform of strict enforcement; with support from some local churches (so much for separation of church and state).
So how was Anne, the Red-Headed Schoolteacher, going to handle this issue? If she came out one way or another, she would split the support of one of the other two parties, and the other party would win!
Well, Anne read a Moron's Guide to Politics, and hatched a cunning plan: Because the department was underfunded, she said that she would deploy deputies in enforcing the prohibition law on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since those were statistically the days in which DUIs and bootlegging were at their peak! This gave the Republicans a dilemma: they could put up for full funding at the price of raising taxes! Of course, the "wets" could learn to operate and misbehave on a different schedule.
Politics is still the art of the possible! And learning to juggle partisan issues with bipartisan solutions.