Haynes at peace' with results of first political outing
FAMILY Charlie Haynes was surrounded by his family Tuesday night as he waited to hear the election results. He is shown with his wife, Pam, and mother, Virginia. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Scottye Carter/The Meridian Star
June 6, 2001
For Charlie Haynes, election night was a family affair.
Sounds of friendly chatter, laughter, burping babies and a humming television almost concealed the anxiety drifting in the air as an Independent candidate for mayor awaited early returns at his daughter and son-in-law's house.
But when the election results began scrolling across the bottom of ABC's popular show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," all activity halted and all eyes turned to the screen.
No one seemed fazed when the first report had Haynes with only 10 percent of the vote.
By the second and third reports, Haynes was in second, but trailing badly behind incumbent John Robert Smith. Still, no one in the household seemed unduly agitated.
And, at last, as the total of complete but unofficial returns from all 15 city precincts marched across the screen, Haynes had managed a second place finish with about 16 percent of the vote in the lightest turnout in a mayoral election in memory. Amid a gentle smile from the first-time candidate, the room erupted in cheers, laughter and shouts of congratulations.
Pam Haynes, Charlie's wife, commented on her husband's campaign.
Haynes claimed he was nervous only when he first decided to run for mayor. He was not worried about the outcome of the election so much as he was about what impact he could have on the city.
Haynes is a newcomer to politics, but he does not plan on quitting after one loss. He wants to stay involved in the community and says he's proud of what he has accomplished in his new role as a politician.
Haynes congratulated Smith, and noted that he spent only about $500 on his entire campaign, compared to Smith's nearly $50,000. He also indicated he may be interested in running for mayor again.
After a cake dwindled down to crumbs, the infants drifted to sleep, and friends shuffled out the door, Haynes had never once expressed regret or disappointment.
In fact, he seemed happy, peaceful and somehow satisfied with his first political outing.
Scottye Carter is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551.