Feb 262016

by Clay Herrmann

Why an imaginary rather than a real interview? In this case it is primarily because I thought an imaginary interview would be much more fun. Hopefully Sheriff McCormick will have a good sense of humor about this, and think so too. With just a few days remaining before the March 1st Primary, you may have noticed that no candidate has more large format signage up in more places around Garland County than unopposed incumbent sheriff candidate Mike McCormick.)

CH:  Sheriff McCormick, you defied the odds and made history in a way no one ever had before in the last election. Running as an Independent without the backing of a political party, you were elected County Sheriff, something that to my knowledge had never been accomplished before your victory … not just in Garland County, but anywhere in Arkansas.

Sheriff McCormick:  Yes, thank you. The last election certainly was a hotly contested and grueling contest, but it was very satisfying to prove that it is possible for a candidate to win as an Independent in Arkansas.

CH: Anyone who has been out and about in Hot Springs or elsewhere in Garland County lately can see that you have a lot of signage up this year in anticipation of the March 1st Primary.  The message is “Re-Elect Mike McCormick for Sheriff”.  How do you feel the race is going? What do you think your chances are for surviving the Primary and moving on to the November General Election?

Sheriff McCormick:  I feel pretty good about it.

CH:  Do you feel that the fact that no one else filed to run against you gives you an advantage?

Sheriff McCormick:  Maybe, but I don’t want to make any assumptions. You know the old saying spelling out the word. When you ass-u-me, you make an ass out of u and me. The main thing right now is to win the Primary.

CH:  And just to be clear, you do believe that being unopposed in the Primary is a good omen?

Sheriff McCormick:  I’m not big on putting a lot of stock in omens, but I would say that I think that being unopposed is more of a plus than it is a negative.

CH:  With respect to all of the other unopposed candidates who have NOT put up signage for their campaigns (evidently hoping to be elected just because no one is running against them) … are they missing the boat by not following your example?

Sheriff McCormick: Maybe, but I don’t want to criticize the choices candidates for other offices make about their campaigns. I am content to concentrate on my own campaign and on what I should do to maximize my chances of victory.

CH: Is there anything in particular that makes this 2016 race especially challenging for you?

Sheriff McCormick: Well there is ONE difficulty that is particularly problematic. Because no one is running against me, it is especially hard to come up with something appropriate to say about my challengers … you know, why people should vote for me instead of for them.

CH: Would it be going too far to say that you are a little paranoid about threats to your reelection in 2016?

Sheriff McCormick:  Let me give you a tip. It’s not paranoia if they REALLY ARE out to get you.

CH: Good point Sheriff, and thank you for granting this interview. We do wish you all the best in the Primary race on March 1st, and if you should survive as an uncontested Primary candidate on March 1st, here’s wishing you success as an uncontested candidate in the November General Election as well.


  One Response to “Imaginary Interview with Sheriff McCormick”

  1. I had a conversation with a hard-working and long-time supporter of Sheriff McCormick a few days ago who expressed criticism of my imaginary interview. In addition to criticism of the content was the complaint that the feature that allows opportunity to comment was not activated after the post. So in consideration of that complaint, “Comments” IS now activated. (Note that it is set to require editor approval before posting … so allow a little time for that approval process. No comment will be declined for posting solely for being critical. Obscene language and automated-spam posts are not welcome, but otherwise feel free to express your thoughts, views, and opinions, including harsh criticism.)

    Apart from making fun of all the reelection signage erected all over the county for an uncontested race, I do recognize that there is marketing value in doing so, just as there was substantial strategic value in the Sheriff joining the Republican Party rather than running another long and grueling race for a second term as an Independent … as might very well have been the case had anyone else filed to run against him under the Republican banner. Successful in fending off the threat of a challenger in the Primary and also uncontested in the November General Election, reelection signage all over the county warns any potential challenger in the next election cycle that they would be better off finding something else to do. If the incumbent sheriff goes to that extent in advertizing for reelection when unopposed (potential sheriff candidates might think), what could they expect if there is a challenge? So I do congratulate Sheriff McCormick and his team on a very effective marketing campaign.

    P.S. I have considered Sheriff McCormick a friend since before he was Sheriff McCormick, members together in the Hot Springs Toastmasters Club, and highly respected as one of only a few who have ever dared to run as “Independent” candidates in Garland County (though our friendship was evidently strained by the drama and differences of opinion involving the Sheriff office’s treatment of the Stanley family). In the interest of “full disclosure” I was not acquainted with the Stanley family before the story about the removal of their children broke, but have since become friends in the process of reporting for Hot Springs Daily and covering related joint-legislative committee hearings at the state capitol chaired by Senator Alan Clark and Representative Kim Hammer. I hope that in the aftermath Sheriff McCormick can again consider me a friend. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6

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