Monday, July 14, 2003

Springer's campaign ticks off Hicksville

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Residents of Hicksville aren't too happy that Jerry Springer is using the northwest Ohio village as a symbol for his U.S. Senate campaign.

Springer, 59, is raising money for his campaign by charging $100 for autographed photos of himself pointing to a Hicksville corporation-limit sign. The photo is shown on his Web site,

Springer, a Democrat, is not expected to formally announce whether he will run for the Senate seat held by Republican George Voinovich until later this month.

The photos are superimposed with words that commentator Jonah Goldberg uttered on a CNN politics program this year: "If Jerry Springer shows up, he'll bring all these new people to the polls. They will be slack-jawed yokels, hicks, weirdos, pervs and whatnot."

The photo was snapped after Springer was in the town about 70 miles southwest of Toledo May 5.

Springer spokesman Dale Butland said that with Goldberg's quote in mind, the campaign couldn't resist the photo opportunity.

"We thought it was too good to be true," Butland said. "We were going to bring out the hicks, and here we are in Hicksville."

The 3,600 residents have defended the community against the inevitable jokes since land agent Henry Hicks gave the town his name in the 1830s.

"I've got a sense of humor, but this makes us look like a bunch of ...," said village administrator Kent Miller, trailing off before the "H" word tumbled out.

"If Springer's running for office, I don't know why he'd want to tick off 3,600 people."

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