Dear Sherry,

I find it interesting that you would write an article about name recognition in the Democratic primary and not even mention the potential ramifications of a name like WorldPeace. You know - Vote for WorldPeace. How about a negative ad - Don't vote for WorldPeace. WorldPeace is crazy. And consider the extra impact that WorldPeace has post World Trade Towers. (Don't forget I changed my name 14 years ago and it was and is not a gimmick as Jason Ma reported in the Corpus Christi Caller Times last week.) 

Since I declared my candidacy on January 1, 2001 and began my telephone campaign (about 12 million calls ago - no exaggeration) only one reporter with has interviewed me in depth and that was Juan Elizondo with the Austin Statesman. Of course Juan was replaced by Ken Herman, the Sanchez guy. Couldn't have a Hispanic writing pro-WorldPeace/anti-Sanchez articles could they. 

I am the Lion in the room. The candidate that everyone is so afraid of that WorldPeace is only whispered in secluded rooms. And part of that fear has to do with the question: "What happens if WorldPeace catches on?"

The answer is that virtually everything changes and change is something to be feared. Especially something as overwhelming, volitile and chaotic as WorldPeace.

The press has kept such a tight lid on WorldPeace that it takes a monumental effort to even print WorldPeace once in a major article. Consider the school prayer articles of the last few days. WorldPeace has a huge religious web site and WorldPeace is an practicing attorney; Therefore WorldPeace is the one most qualified to discuss the prayer in school issue from both the religious/spiritual aspects to the legal aspects. And yet everyone quotes the Coca Cola Cowboy Perry or the Corrupt Don Sanchez on prayer. What a joke. I am having a hard time typing because I am laughing so hard.

Well Sherry, the dam is about to burst. And when it does, very soon, a new age will begin. Let those who have eyes see, and let those who have ears hear. The winds of change have begun to blow and let me assure you that neither the press, the Democratic Party nor all the dark souls of the earth can overcome a single point of light.  

Sherry, it is time to get on board the WorldPeace train.

Peace and WorldPeace

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas

Express-News: Metro and State 
Name-recognition battle on in Democrat primary 
By Sherry Sylvester 
San Antonio Express-News 

Web Posted : 10/29/2001 12:00 AM 

Polls consistently show that voters pick leaders the same way they choose laundry detergent or corn chips by going with names they know.

So how will voters react in the Bexar County Democratic Primary next March when faced with a choice between two well-known candidates?

Former City Councilman Raul Prado, who represented the South Side for two terms after serving on the South San Antonio School Board, is challenging State Rep. John Longoria, D-San Antonio. 

Longoria has been elected to five terms in the Legislature and previously served on the Bexar County Commissioners' Court.

East Siders must decide between former councilman and activist Mario Salas and Tommy Adkisson, a long-time Democratic workhorse who has become a popular County Commissioner. 

And State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, is trying to unseat another Democrat, Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo.

Villarreal was elected to the Legislature in 2000, but this year's redistricting changes forced him to choose between running against a Democratic ally or going after another office.

He said running as an incumbent, even as a challenger, is far easier than running from the outside. 

"People know who you are," Villarreal said, adding that having a public record is a strong asset for voters. 

Austin Democratic pollster Jeffrey Smith, who is not currently working for any San Antonio candidates, said challengers with high name recognition can sometimes neutralize the huge advantage enjoyed by incumbents. 

"When an incumbent is running, the election is a referendum on his performance," Smith said. But he added that a well-known challenger has a much better chance of getting voters to pay attention to criticisms against the officeholder. 

Elizondo, who is running for his sixth term on the County Commission, has defeated incumbents himself. He points out that having a challenger with a public record can prove helpful for an incumbent.

"You've got something you can ask the public to look at to determine if the opponent can do the job," Elizondo said.

None of the races seem to involve personal grudge matches. Prado insists he is running against Longoria's record. 

"I wouldn't challenge an incumbent unless I thought he'd been ineffective," Prado said. 

Salas said he and Adkisson have known each other for years, and he decided to run against him because he was not satisfied with the level of cooperation between the city and the county.

"Tommy is a good hand-shaker," Salas said. 

St. Mary's University political science professor Henry Flores said the councilmen challenges are probably the result of the city's restrictive term limits.

"You have people who feel they have a calling for public service and they can't stay on city council any longer," he said.

At this early stage, Flores puts the elections involving the former city councilmen in the "toss-up" category because all the candidates have strong bases of support going in and none of the incumbents is charged with scandal or incompetence. 

Longoria calls Prado "a serious challenger" who is well known in the community. In contrast, Longoria said he has kept a relatively low public profile.

"People don't vote for me because I show up for public occasions, but because I do good work," Longoria said.

He believes his record will convince voters to send him back to Austin. 

Adkisson does show up for public occasions and is considered one of San Antonio's most effective campaigners. 

"We've done a great job and this is a grand opportunity for me to talk about it," Adkisson said.

State Rep. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, is a former city councilman who made his name at City Hall, like Salas and Prado. He mounted a successful challenge against incumbent Juan Solis last year just months before term limits forced him off City Council. 

Menendez said policy-making in City Hall is one of the best ways to create name identification because council members must serve as the "front line of defense for citizens."