Mike Brown Vs. Mike Brown

The Old Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point, IN. (Photo: Joey Lax-Salinas)

Thanks to @PE_Mulroe via Twitter, here’s a story from the (Northwest Indiana) Post-Tribune that combines two of our favorite topics: elections and first names. It’s called “A Tale of Two Mike Browns in Lake County Politics”:

Did Mike Brown, the candidate for recorder, intentionally run on the name recognition earned by former recorder and Lake County Clerk Mike Brown?

The candidate says no. Incumbent Recorder Michelle Fajman and party boss Tom McDermott Jr. say yes. And the clerk with the same name? Well, as someone who backed Fajman in the election, he’s just sorry if anyone cast a ballot without knowing who was who.

Democratic candidate Brown’s unofficial 457-vote primary win over Fajman — the vice chairman of the county’s Democratic Central Committee — has many saying he played the “name game” to deceive voters, and she’s first in line.

“This person won on the name game,” Fajman said. “Now the voters will have to live with this for the next four years.

Is there another Barack Obama or Mitt Romney out there who might want to hurry up and get on a Presidential ticket?

Eric M. Jones.

Local recent election headline:



"Is there another Barack Obama or Mitt Romney out there who might want to hurry up and get on a Presidential ticket?"

I think the more relevant question is "is there any Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton who might want to hurry up and get on the Presidential ticket?"


For what it's worth, Washington, DC has had this problem for years. Really, THIS problem, the Michael Brown one.

We have a popular at-large Council member named Michael A. Brown, son of former DNC chairman Ron Brown. There is another guy named Michael D. Brown who is the District's shadow Senator (we don't have real Senators), not to be confused with former famous Bush-appointed FEMA chairman also named Michael D. Brown who did a "heckuva job" or the DC City Council Chairman, named Kwame Brown, who himself is not to be confused with NBA player Kwame Brown drafted by the Washington Wizards.

Michael D. Brown (the shadow senator) has tried to run for a Council seat, and was accused by his opponent of intentionally using the name confusion. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/01/AR2010090106549.html)

So Indiana has nothing on DC.


Reminds me of The Distinguished Gentleman. Didn't know this happens IRL.


In California's recall election for governor back in 2003, a Mr. Schwartzman was one of the top 10 vote-getters (in a WIDE pool of candidates). Mr. Schwarzenegger, of course, won that election.


"Vote Steve Austin... and if you're blind, I AM the wrestler."

David P

Billy Bulger once used a similar technique to ensure that he stayed in power. A quote from the book The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century:

But Billy wasn't taking any chances. A straw candidate, Janie DuPass quickly entered the race to dilute the anti-incumbent vote. Not only did her name sound like DeJong's but also like that of a Southie political activist named Janie DuWors. DuPass lived on a $501 disability check, in Roxbury, and yet three-quarters of the signatures on the nomination papers she filed to get onto the ballot came from Southie, including eleven from East Third Street, Billy's home street. Her nomination papers were signed by people with such fine Bulger-associated names as Joyce, Flaherty, Nee and Gill. The signatures had been gathered by Billy's operatives. It was one of the oldest tricks in the urban political playbook, and if the Bulgers could have found another person named John DeJong, no doubt his name would have gone onto the ballot too.