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Thursday, Aug. 5, 2004 12:47 am

quick takes 8-5-04

THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER

Missouri Democrats on Tuesday nominated a central Illinois native as their candidate for U.S. Senate. Nancy Farmer, who grew up in Jacksonville, will challenge Republican incumbent Christopher 'Kit' Bond on Nov 2.

Farmer comes from a working-class family: her father was a farmer and worked at a grain elevator, her mother cleaned homes and took in laundry. Her father was severely injured when Farmer was young, and committed suicide in 1970. The first in her family to graduate from high school, Farmer later was awarded a sociology degree from Illinois College. While in college, she worked with the developmentally disabled; she also served as the food editor for the Jacksonville Journal Courier. She moved to St. Louis in 1984.

Right now, political handicappers don't give Farmer, who currently serves as Missouri state treasurer, or Libertarian Party nominee Kevin Tull much chance of unseating the formidable Bond, who is seeking his fourth six-year term.

MOO GOO GAI SHABAZZ

Early returns in the 2004 "Best of Springfield" contest are being compiled, and local radio personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz currently leads in the Chinese restaurant category, according to the Illinois Times Board of Elections.

"We appear to have a case of 'ballot stuffing' -- and we plan to investigate," an IT election official says.

Nominees in the best broadcast journalist category, in which Shabazz, a WMAY (AM 970) personality, would otherwise compete, include Kent Brockman, longtime anchor on television's "The Simpsons."

The deadline for turning in the ballot, which appears in this edition on page 31, has been extended by one day to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13.

Readers can also vote online at www.illinoistimes.com.

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