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Texas Voters Get 'Kinky,' No 'Grandma'

Texas voters will get "Kinky," but they won't get "Grandma."

The state elections chief on Monday rejected gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn's request to be called "Grandma" on the November ballot, but he decided her fellow independent candidate Kinky Friedman could use his nickname as long as it was accompanied by his given name - Richard.

"Grandma" is a slogan rather than a recognized nickname and therefore not allowed under the Texas Election Code, Secretary of State Roger Williams decided.

In Friedman's case, "It's quite apparent that 'Kinky' is a name he's been using for a number of years," said Scott Haywood, spokesman for the elections agency.

Both independents are trying to oust Republican Gov. Rick Perry. Democrat Chris Bell and Libertarian James Werner also are running for governor.

Friedman, a musician and author, got his nickname because of his curly hair and first became known as "Kinky" in 1962 during his freshman year at the University of Texas, his campaign has said. He has released 10 music albums, published 26 books and written numerous articles under the name "Kinky Friedman."

Strayhorn, the state comptroller since 1999, contends many Texans know her as "Grandma," and she calls herself "one tough grandma."

Her attorney, Roy Minton, argued that Strayhorn began using the name when she became a grandmother Nov. 12, 1994.

The secretary of state said he took several factors into account in Strayhorn's case. He noted that Strayhorn has never appeared on an election ballot under the name "Grandma" and that her
declaration of intent to run as an independent, as well as her voter petitions, listed her as "Carole Keeton Strayhorn."

Strayhorn's campaign had no immediate comment.

Friedman, keeping his humor, said he was happy with the decision.

"I like the name 'Richard Kinky Friedman.' It evokes a certain sense of nobility that falls somewhere between Richard the Lion-hearted and Richard Nixon," Friedman said in a statement.
By Kelly Shannon

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