Mississippi House Race Comes Down to One Deciding Straw

Sometimes American politics is about ideas, powered by Jeffersons and Adamses and Reagans. Sometimes it is about strategy, with races determined by the chess-match machinations of Axelrods and Roves.

But every once in a while, the fate of governments is determined by a considerably less eminent character, one usually found lurking in back-alley craps games and on the Las Vegas Strip: Lady Luck.

That is the case this week in Mississippi, where a mathematically improbable tie in a State House of Representatives race has triggered a state statute that calls for the winner to be determined “by lot.’’ On Friday the two candidates, the Democratic incumbent, Blaine Eaton II, and his Republican challenger, Mark Tullos, will meet in Jackson, the state capital, and draw straws to determine the victor. In a vote tallied earlier this month, each candidate received exactly 4,589 votes.

NY Times