Lengthy Story in The Guardian About Jim Hedges and the Prohibition Party

Jim Hedges and Adam Gabbatt in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Adam Gabbatt for the Guardian

Jim Hedges and Adam Gabbatt in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Adam Gabbatt for the Guardian

Excerpt from the article “A sobering alternative? Prohibition party back on the ticket this election” by Adam Gabbatt at The Guardian:

We sit on a wooden bench outside the courthouse and Hedges, who turned 78 on 10 May, tells me about his campaign. He was selected as the Prohibition party’s candidate last July. He admits to having had some trepidation about running for president – “I’m too old and too infirm. And I stutter” – but is confident in his attributes.

“Experience in a variety of different things,” he says when I ask him about his strengths. “Organisational experience. Not in a big organisation, but community groups. I was in the recycling committee and the friends of the library. And I’ve been an officer in some of the town bands. It’s not much compared to the party candidates, but it’s what I’ve done.”

“And you were town assessor, that was for the Prohibition party,” says Carolyn Hedges, Hedges’ wife (who has come along because she wanted to chat to an English person).

“Oh yes, in my township,” Hedges says. “I was elected twice – two four-year terms – as the township tax assessor. But there were no other candidates.”

Hedges’ spell as a tax assessor in the Thompson Township – population 1,098 – represents the only time a member of Prohibition party has held elected office since the 1920s.

The party has been dwindling in size ever since the early 20th century – essentially ever since prohibition was passed. Hedges tells me there are currently about three dozen fee-paying members, who each contribute $10 a year. I originally heard him say as “3,000”, which made him burst into laughter.

Read the full article here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *