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The Best of Jim Hunt 

A lousy year for most of us meant a good year for our cartoonist

It was a busy year for everyone, and no one was busier than CL editorial cartoonist Jim Hunt who found at least 52 reasons to keep drawing his weekly commentary. From a deposed ruler and the city officially dissing gays to school shenanigans and a joke of a mayor's race, Hunt had more than enough to work with. Here's a look at some of our favorite editorial cartoons from the past year which, as luck would have it, includes at least a couple of our all-time favorite Hunt works.

One of the biggest political stories of the year was the unexpected defeat of longtime clothes horse, Observer model, and City Council member Lynn Wheeler (aka, The Real Mayor, according to Tara Servatius). It seemed like the end of an era.
Craig Madans, who came in third in a two-person mayoral race against Sue Myrick in 1989, threw his hat into the race again. The Democrats, desperate to find anyone to run once Parks Helms decided not to, anointed him as their new sacrificial la . . . um, mayoral candidate.
School Superintendant James Pughsley had a rocky year for various reasons, one of which was the number of loud, public attacks on him by County Commissioner Bill James and School Board member Larry “Resegregation? What resegregation?” Gauvreau.
Public outrage was rampant when it was calmly noted that plans for the new light rail system included digging up and moving some graves at venerable Elmwood Cemetery. City Council quickly declared Elmwood an historic property, making it more difficult but not impossible to desecrate.
The Queen City’s council refused to live up to the burg’s nickname when they denied gay city employees domestic partner health benefits.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities’ program to use door hangers to warn residents of sewage spills in their neighborhood was used sparingly even though the city’s spills at times reached near-biblical proportions.
It had to happen some time — US Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who launched his career by pandering to racism and fear, died at the age of 100.
County Commissioner Parks Helms spent a good part of the year trying to decide whether he would challenge incumbent Pat McCrory for the mayor’s job. Finally, he didn’t enter the race, leaving local Democrats more hopeless than usual.
The Stratton family’s court case against the Dept. of Social Services — for awhile the only thing Rhino Times and WBT could write or talk about — was finally thrown out, leaving the couple without their longtime companions.
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