Political Notebook

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Holiday songs non-partisan

‘O Holy Night’ is most popular

It appears there is something that Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians can agree on – Christmas songs!

In a recent Zogby poll, Americans voted for their three favorite holiday songs.

“O Holy Night” was the clear winner, with 58 percent of adults voting for it as their first, second or third favorite holiday song. “White Christmas” came in second at 41 percent, and “The Christmas Song” also topped the list at 38 percent.

According to the poll, most Republicans enjoy “O Holy Night,” with 67 percent of them voting for it compared with 56 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats.

Here’s the overall ranking:

1. “O Holy Night”: 58 percent

2. “White Christmas”: 41 percent

3. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”: 38 percent

4. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”: 28 percent

5. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: 24 percent

6. “Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”: 17 percent

7. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: 15 percent

8. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”: 10 percent

9. Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song”: 9 percent

A new direction

Huntington Republican Ron Fusselman recently announced he is abandoning a bid for the Senate District 17 seat and will focus on a House seat instead.

Fusselman had hoped to take over for Sen. Gary Dillon, R-Columbia City, who is not running for re-election in 2010. That district covers Huntington, Whitley and parts of Wabash, Allen and Kosciusko counties.

But now he is throwing his support behind Whitely County Councilman Jim Banks as Dillon’s replacement.

“I started this journey to become your state senator with the hopes and aspirations of bringing true conservative change to the General Assembly,” Fusselman said in a prepared statement. “Over time, I have come to recognize that the race to replace Senator Dillon has two true, grass-roots conservative candidates.”

Instead, he is going to challenge Rep. Dan Leonard, R-Huntington, a small-business owner who has served House District 50 since 2002. Leonard is popular in the House Republican caucus and is likely in line for a committee chairmanship if Republicans regain the majority in 2010.

Council challenge

Next year’s Allen County Council races will feature at least one competitive primary.

This month, Renee Rousseau, chief deputy clerk, announced she would seek the 3rd District seat, which encompasses northwest Allen County.

The setting for her announcement: The Downtown Republican Lunch Club, right in front of the incumbent, Darren Vogt.

Vogt admitted he was surprised by the announcement but welcomed the competition for the seat. He plans to seek re-election.

Rousseau, daughter of former County Commissioner Ed Rousseau, unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for county auditor in 2002.

Happy Festivus

The Fort Wayne City Council last week couldn’t decide how best to wish season’s greetings to its audience as it signed off its meeting. Members ranged from a simple “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays,” but some members took umbrage in trying to list every seasonal celebration, including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Sadly, no one offered a “Seinfeld”-inspired Festivus greeting for the Dec. 23 holiday “for the rest of us.”

But the group could agree on one thing: Taking the holidays off. The council will not meet this week or next week – traditionally a week off when there is a fifth Tuesday in a month. It will meet again Jan. 5.

To reach Political Notebook by e-mail, contact Benjamin Lanka at blanka@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. To discuss this entry of Political Notebook or others, go to the Political Notebook topic of “The Board” at www.journalgazette.net.