When it came time to pick up the political ball and run with it, Hardeeville's Scott Ready thought he was, well, ready.
Disqualified in his bid for City Council because of a clerical error, he got some unexpected help from the deep bench at Comedy Central for his new write-in bid.
The network named Ready one of its "One of a Kind Candidates" Tuesday in a blog post on its Indecision homepage of political comedy and satirical election coverage.
Comedy Central says it will help Ready get his name out to voters, for free, by offering editorial copy for his first media blitz. Even a little guy in rural Hardeeville needs help. Or as the network puts it: "Democracy: It's not just for famous people."
Rather than punt on the election, Ready -- and his new friends at the network -- are throwing a "Hail Mary." The network has asked its online readers to pick a slogan to help Ready as he puts "his fate in the hands of the spell-check dependent public."
Here are the proposed slogans:
All the attention caught Ready a bit off guard.
"I couldn't believe it," he said by phone Tuesday. "I thought it was hilarious."
He said he had not spoken to anyone from Comedy Central, "but hopes to soon."
An attempt Wednesday to reach a network representative was unsuccessful.
Ready was declared ineligible March 15 by the Hardeeville Municipal Election Commission for the May 8 ballot, despite a state Ethics Commission determination that his paperwork was in order.
Ready, 48, had mistakenly filed as an "elected official" rather than as a "candidate."
He said he thought he was filing to become an elected official, a common mistake the Ethics Commission says should not have disqualified him.
Or as Comedy Central saw it: "Maybe he thought it's just a matter of checking a box to win a race, but as it turns out there's that whole election process that gets in the way."
The Hardeeville commission's decision to leave Ready off the ballot has been questioned because its chairwoman, Joyce Meeks, is the mother-in-law of incumbent Roy Powell, who is seeking re-election.
Ready has asked the state commission to investigate.
BACK IN THE GAME
On March 20, Ready took the field again, declaring himself a write-in candidate, forcing an election. Previously, incumbents Powell, 46, and Mike Sweeney, 76, were uncontested for the two at-large council seats.
Meeks seemed underwhelmed by Comedy Central's interest in Ready's write-in bid.
"If that's what he wants to do, that's his prerogative," Meeks said. "We haven't done anything wrong. Let him do whatever. I feel like I did my job, and I don't have anything to feel bad about."
Meeks has maintained the law clearly states that those running for the local office must file as a "candidate" or their name will not appear on the ballot.
So which of the proposed slogans will Ready run with?
"I really haven't had a chance to think about it," the now more ready Ready said. " 'Always Ready' was my preliminary idea, but I'd like to see if there's one out there that people like better."
As for the national attention, Ready has mixed feelings.
"Part of me wishes that Hardeeville would be brought to national attention in a positive light as opposed to being made fun of," he said. "But the other part of me says, at least it's being brought out to the public so that unethical practices in the local political arena can be dealt with."
Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead.