First Comes Love . . . then Comes Marriage [eighth daily dose of Third Time's the Charm]

By 1993 we had built a political dynasty, and it was time to get me elected Mayor.   No, I’m just kidding, you don’t build a political dynasty just being girlfriend & boyfriend serving one year together in the Legislature.  The reason I threw my hat in the ring was to break my glass ceiling.  A glass ceiling is usually associated with being a woman and having an artificial limit on how high you can rise, despite your ability, based upon your gender.  My glass ceiling was being thought of as too left-wing, too much talk and not enough action [not true], and although maybe a good fit for his liberal district, not a mentionable for higher office.  I wanted to smash that glass ceiling, have all the world get to know who I am and all my accomplishments. . . . but in the end all I did was reinforce my glass ceiling, which turned out to be a lucky thing.


1993 Mayoral Debate: Andy Dawkins, John Manillo, Ray Faricy, Norm Coleman, Jerry Isaacs, Marlene Johnson

It was a spirited Mayoral Race almost all the way to the wire.  I was leading all the way up until two days before the September primary election.  On that fateful Sunday a famous radio personality, known for interviewing guests in her hot tub, was the emcee of a prime time mayoral debate on TV before a live audience.  All 7 of us were given a green and red placard.  The green side spelled out YES in big letters; the red side had NO.  Right away rapid fire questions.  The fifth question:  “Have you smoked marijuana in the past 5 years?”  I was the only one who held up green.  No gasps from anybody and the next questions quickly followed.

But by that night it had become a big deal.  At my next campaign event (getting endorsed by the Black Police Officers Assn.) I was met by reporters from every major media outlet:  When did you smoke marijuana?  How often?  Where?  Any regrets?  Other drugs? Etc.  I answered honestly:  “only a couple times at some party where people were passing around a joint.”  It was THE story all the way to the polls 36 hours later.  On every radio station.  On the front page.  A political cartoon with my volunteer shirts saying “Dawkins Delivers.”  I always suspected it was a planted question.  To this day I have only two major regrets in my life (both deal with smoking):  smoking cigarets and not dropping that frigging sign and saying “Dumb question.  Move on.”   How I started smoking and my Mark Twain method of quitting are a different story; also a full-length version of The Race for Mayor is in the appendix to the hard copy of this book because it was such a pivotal point in my life with so much more dynamics and investment of effort by me and others that the (two times) smoking pot should have been dwarfed.  For now suffice to say I came in Second.

Second turned out to be terrific all in itself.  During the campaign I had fallen in love.  Two weeks later I proposed to El, my best campaign volunteer, kneeling in the waters off Madiera Beach.  I woke-up that day having been thinking for two straight weeks:  “Yes, I’d hoped to be the Mayor for all the kids in the City, being single and working every moment, but you know what, it’s time to get married and start a family.”  I got out of bed, went across the street to buy a ring; YES! she said.

Tomorrow:  How my BB bat was saved

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