Charles Darwin Earns 4,000 Votes in Georgia Congressional Race; Virginia Cat Wins 6,000

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Charles Darwin



Charles Darwin, the 19th-century naturalist who revolutionized the field of biology with his theory of evolution via natural selection, received nearly 4,000 write-in votes in Athens-Clarke County in the race for the 10th Congressional District seat held last week by five-year incumbent Rep. Paul Broun (R-Georgia). Darwin got about 20% of the votes in Athens-Clarke County, which gave Broun 16,980 votes, although Broun’s 209,917 district-wide total gave him a comfortable margin. There was no Democratic Party candidate on the ballot.


Jim Leebens-Mack, a University of Georgia plant biologist, started a “Darwin for Congress” write-in campaign after Broun attacked evolution and science generally in a September speech: “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.” Broun further expressed his belief that the earth is only 9,000 years old, an opinion contradicted by both geology and archaeology, which have dated untold numbers of rocks and human-made objects as being millions of years old.


In an interview, Leebens-Mack pointed out that write-in votes were also cast for “Anyone but Broun” and various permutations of that sentiment, “Big Bird,” and “Bill Nye, The Science Guy.”


Meanwhile in Virginia, the hotly contested Senate race between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen—both former governors of the state—also featured the whimsical candidacy of Hank, a cat who garnered 6,000 votes and came in third. Hank, a beautiful Maine Coon cat whose out-of-state pedigree appears not to have been held against him, ran a campaign that was light on the issues but emphasized his personal story. As the offspring of a single mother who, along with his entire family, was rescued from certain death at a young age, Hank’s “story and dedication have inspired all who know him, and he realized that his ideas and unique life experiences could help his community, his state, and his country,” according to his website.


In the end, Kaine beat Allen by more than 186,000 votes, so Hank wasn’t even able to play the role of spoiler.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Charles Darwin Gets 4,000 Write-In Votes in Athens against Paul Broun (by Jim Thompson, Athens Banner-Herald)

Paul Broun Discounts Darwin Write-In Campaign (by Jim Thompson, Athens Banner-Herald)

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): Evolution, Big Bang “Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell” (by Benjy Sarlin, Talking Points Memo)

Cat Appears to Come in Third in Virginia’s U.S. Senate Race (by Scott Bomboy, Constitution Daily)

Hank for U. S. Senate


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