The Name Game: What if Your Name is Polish and Voters Prefer Irish?

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Yep. You change that name.

Phillip Spivak –shazaam!–is now Shannon O’Malley

Spiwak, a failed candidate for judge in Cook County (Chicago and suburbs), has decided the new name has more curb appeal for voters.

Here’s the story in the Chicago Tribune:

In the hit AMC shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk plays Slippin’ Jimmy McGill, an Irish-American attorney who changes his name to the Jewish-sounding Saul Goodman to lend his business an air of legitimacy.

But if you’re running for judge in Cook County, history shows there’s no better name to have printed on the ballot than an Irish woman’s.

That appears to be the rationale behind the curious name switch adopted by the lawyer formerly known as Phillip Spiwak, a Schaumburg criminal defense and bankruptcy attorney who now goes by (say it with a brogue) Shannon P. O’Malley.

Spiwak unsuccessfully ran for judge in 2010 under his old name as a Republican candidate in Will County. He changed his name in 2012, according to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Now he’s running as a Democrat under his new name. . . .

Alas, for O’Malley, the [suburban] seat is routinely won by Republicans. In a down-ballot race in which voters typically vote strictly on party lines, his name change in unlikely to be enough.

’Tis a shame!

–Chicago Tribune

Kudos to the Trib’s reporter, Kim Janssen, for that final sentence.

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