Colbert Suffers Second Political Setback
By Jonathan Mummolo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 13, 2007; 6:06 PM
His recent presidential bid may have hit the skids, but Stephen Colbert's political career looked like it might not be dead yet.
In a development that seemed sure to boost the comedian's résumé -- or at least his jokes -- an election official in Williamsburg said this morning that Colbert was in a three-way tie for a seat on the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
His base of support in the historic cradle of democracy? Three voters.
Win Sowder, the voter registrar in Williamsburg, confirmed the three-way tie this morning. However, Chris Faia, secretary of the Williamsburg Electoral Board, said later in the day that it had been a misunderstanding and that Colbert had received one less write-in vote than the other two men, meaning he was not in the running for the position.
On Nov. 6, voters went to the polls to fill Williamsburg's two seats on the 12-member board, which allocates government funds earmarked for environmental preservation.
The race's declared candidate, Gregory Hancock, took one seat. The other seat, uncontested, ended in a tie of three votes for two students from the College of William and Mary. Colbert, the famed host of "The Colbert Report," who this month dropped his efforts to run as a presidential candidate in the South Carolina primary after the Democratic Party denied his application, apparently scored two ballots.
Soil and water conservation districts had their origins in the Dust Bowl era as a way to help ailing farmers through government-subsidized programs. There are 47 soil and water districts in the commonwealth, and because positions on their boards are unpaid, uncontested seats are fairly common, said Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District manager Brian Noyes.
"Unfortunately, we're not as well known as what we'd like to be," Noyes said.