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State Journal: An arresting candidacy; Repealing segregation

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A write-in candidate for the New Hampshire House was arrested outside an elementary school in Walpole, N.H., for distributing campaign literature containing graphic references to homosexuality.

On Nov. 7, the psychologist at Walpole Elementary School, Peg Mulligan, spotted the Republican candidate, Andrew Cabot, placing pamphlets on cars in the school parking lot.

"She came to the conclusion it was not something any kids on the playground should see," Principal Grant Harris said.

Mr. Cabot's newsletter, The Walpole Conservative Republican, links homosexuality with pedophilia and sexual practices in graphic detail.

The principal called the police, who arrested Mr. Cabot. Undeterred, the candidate returned the next day, accompanied by local reporters, and was arrested again. He has been charged with two counts of criminal trespass and one of disorderly conduct.

Mr. Cabot said that his arrest violated his right to free speech and that he was being persecuted "by the liberals in power."

Mr. Cabot's tactics caught the attention of residents in Walpole, a rural town of 2,000, but apparently didn't sway voters. He received only 18 votes in the House race, while another Republican write-in candiate won 406 votes, and Democrat Paul McGuirk was elected to the legislature with 793 votes.

"There have been no more confrontations," Mr. Harris said, "and little Walpole is calm again."

West Virginia has repealed archaic language in its state constitution prohibiting racially integrated schools. But the margin of victory--59 percent to 41 percent--was less than overwhelming, and the initiative was defeated in several counties.

Some voters--on either side--may not have understood the question. The referendum proposal a state legislator placed on the ballot made no reference to race and proposed simply to eliminate "mixed schools."

Before the vote, the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in West Virginia pledged to rally his members against the repeal, but most observers attributed the measure's poor showing to its vague wording.

"Maybe some people thought banning 'mixed schools' would keep boys and girls from attending schools together," said an official at the West Virginia secretary of state's office.

--Meg Sommerfeld & href="/info-epe/staff.htm#dl1">Drew Lindsay

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