Americana: The Happy Hobo

Melvin Perkins, 55, the Republican hobo of Baltimore's skid row, has run for office many times before, so no one paid much heed when he was the only candidate to qualify on the ballot against an immensely popular Democratic Congressman, Goodloe Byron. Then Byron, 49, died while running along the Potomac River, and his widow took his place on the ballot. Perkins' chances of winning were never good, but they got even worse when he was tossed in jail for assaulting a woman bus driver. Undaunted, he pointed out: "We've had plenty of Congressmen who ended up in jail. What's wrong...

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