Political fortunes can rise and fall on pure luck.
That truism was illustrated Monday morning with a tie-breaking coin toss, which ended Bernice Todd's long-time reign as Republican committeewoman in her East Lawrence precinct.
Douglas County Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney did the honors to resolve the tie between Todd and Marianne Horvath, who each received 43 votes in the Aug. 6 primary in the 4th Precinct of the 1st Ward.
``Would you rather have heads or tails?'' McElhaney asked Horvath.
``You win,'' he said when the coin came down.
Todd, who has been active in Republican politics for nearly 40 years, said Monday that she had held the precinct committee post for more than 30 years.
``Being a precinct person is really an honor. I hope the person who takes it over feels that way, too,'' Todd said.
Todd was honored as the state party's volunteer of the year for her work on the 1986 and 1988 elections, when she logged 2,217 hours and 2,305 hours of volunteer time, respectively. She also has held party offices at the county, state and district level, and worked on the campaigns of Republican candidates.
Loss of the precinct job won't mean retirement from politics, Todd said.
``I'll still work as hard as I can,'' she said.
With the exception of the precinct committee post, Todd's only try for elected office was an unsuccessful bid for the county treasurer's seat in 1980.
Todd and her husband, Ron, a former state insurance commissioner, had worked the precinct as a team. During the primary, he retained his seat as Republican committeeman, narrowly beating Horvath's husband, Paul, for that post.