The Candidate with One Name

We caught this story in Our Colorado News about a new candidate for city council in Lakewood, and it confused the crap out of us. The story is written by a reporter, not the candidate herself, so you can probably understand our confusion. Here's how the story leads off:

Shakti announced she will be a candidate for Lakewood City Council in Ward 3 in November.

Shakti is running for the term-limited seat held by Sue King.

“On many issues I’m very impressed with the course the city is on, but we need to make sure to keep the city on course,” she said. “As a city council member it is also important to always be looking for ways to do things better.”

For the past two and a half years, Shakti has served on Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community (ACIC). Currently she is the chair of the Sustainability Committee.


This is what a Shakti looks like

So, what the hell is a "Shakti?"

The reporter never actually explains what a "Shakti" might be, so we had to go to her website to learn that Shakti is a Lakewood woman who has only this word as her full legal name. Like Madonna. Or Elmo.

While the story is a bit confusing, it brings up some interesting questions for the November ballot. In a "nonpartisan" election, does having just one name give you an inherent advantage or disadvantage? If there is only one other candidate on the ballot, we would think it would be a disadvantage because an uninformed voter might draw unfair conclusions about the sanity of a person with just one name (we're not suggesting anything about Shakti, whom we know nothing about — but you could see how this could appear negatively to a voter).

On the other hand, if Shakti is able to raise decent money and get out in the community, she has a huge name recognition advantage.

What say you, Polsters? In a local city council race, is having one name an inherent benefit or problem?

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Suharto – former president of Indonesia

    Just one name.

    Current president = Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

    and yes, all 3 names are used.

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    non-issue to me, but some will wag a finger.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Hmmmm. I remember a Centennial City Council race won with pretty much zero expenditure by a Dem Anderson over a Republican Shen. I think Anderson took it by 75% and even though it's non-partisan, people most motivated to vote tend to find out who's who and Centennial very definitely leaned R at the time. I'm sure it still does but maybe not by as much.  Still, it was breeze for the D with the familiar white bread name.

      So a single name like "Shakti", especially if people use the google and get to the info cited above, against a good ol' "Sue King"?  That's going to be a problem. And not just with xenophobes.  I mean really, does anything say "flaky" louder than a middle class American white lady adopting this kind of name, perhaps to make a statement harking back to issues with her parents who just didn't get her? What's her platform? Colon cleansing and aroma therapy?

  3. exlurker19 says:

    Single name that sounds foreign might scare some of the scaredy-cats.

  4. If it were an all write-in election, she'd definitely have an advantage.

    As-is? Well, it will probably be a turn-off to the xenophobic types. Otherwise, I'd call it a draw.

  5. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    There's no other Shakti running, is there? Non-issue. What's her platform?

  6. gertie97 says:

    It's never bothered Torre in Aspen.


  7. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    Wasn't that a movie with Richard Gere and a chow?

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