CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper had his tongue firmly in cheek when he mailed a recent plea for campaign funds.
While he held no fundraising events this time around, he sent out a plea before the election that borrowed from David Letterman's Top 10 skits.
Now Carper is at it again with a mailer asking his contributors to help him retire his campaign debt.
At $300, it's not exactly a princely sum.
But Carper's fundraiser happens to be Thursday, the same night as Republican Attorney General-elect Patrick Morrisey's Charleston debt retirement fundraiser. Morrisey's fundraiser is no joke: he is trying to get back some of the $943,000 he lent his campaign.
The timing of the events is an interesting coincidence. Morrisey's event is downtown and lasts from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Carper's is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. across town and on the other side of the Kanawha River.
Carper, who has served on the commission for 16 years, was re-elected in the November general election.
The front page of the mailer depicts a thoughtful-looking Carper under the headline "Person of the Year" on a mock "Time" magazine cover.
Inside is a picture of a smiling Carper giving a thumbs-up.
"My only real debt is to you - My supporters," it says.
"When you have the privilege of being elected to an office, you should take that office seriously," Carper said. "But some elected officials take themselves way too seriously."
His intention is to throw a party.
"I want to get people together and celebrate," he said. "And that's what we're going to do."
Carper joked that he hopes to raise enough money at the post-election fundraiser to pay for the shrimp and grape leaves that will be eaten at Aladdin Restaurant on Chesterfield Avenue.
"This is certainly not about me recouping any money," he said. "My message is to bring yourself."
The invitation reads, "While monetary contributions will enable me to retire my campaign's debt, I want to take this opportunity to spend time and personally thank each of you for your unconditional support and unbridled faith in my leadership for Kanawha County."
Carper's biggest expense during his campaign was a thank-you advertisement he ran after he was reelected. It cost about $1,300.