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GOP candidate Treadwell is (sort of) the talk of his hometown

Patti Epler

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Mead Treadwell may be a big fish in Alaska's small political pond. But the GOP lieutenant governor hopeful took a bit of a backseat in his even smaller hometown newspaper recently in its announcement that the prodigal son had won the lite gov nomination in the Frozen North.

In the Newtown (Conn.) Bee, Mead's two-sentence tidbit definitely was buried in a column of more important local news. First there was the capture of a homeless cat and her two kittens (yes, that led the column), followed by the revelation that the Bee associate editor's ruby bracelet was not at the bottom of Lake Zoar but in fact just on the floor of her car. Whew. A local family is starting a nine-month journey around the world, and a cast member of the local play accidentally drove his car into the theater building. But the show went on. Some high school journalists won some awards in a high school journalism contest, and then Mead finally got a mention:

"Congratulations, as well, to Mead Treadwell, the son of former Newtown selectman the late Timothy Treadwell. Mead Treadwell won the Republicans' race for Alaskan lieutenant governor, Tuesday, August 24, and will run on the November ballot paired with Governor Sean Parnell."

Nice segue. But sort of a let down, really, after all the hotter happenings right there in the western Connecticut burg. Especially considering Mead's history in the town and at the paper itself, as he describes it.

It seems Mead's dad was the first selectman, which Mead says is like being mayor, and served from the late 1960s until 1972 when he was killed in a house fire. One of the two main parks in town is named after Mead's dad.

Mead says he spent his youth as a newspaper delivery boy. And somehow it's easy to picture the perpetually youthful Mead writing a column for the paper when he was in fifth and sixth grade. (He probably had the blue blazer even then.) He covered high school sports for the paper but ran afoul of Bee management when, as an employee in the photo department, burned up the photo goop (and photos) when he set it on a coffee burner. Oops. He finished his career in the morgue. (That, youngsters, is ancient lingo for a newspaper library.) Probably didn't put that on his resume when he got hired at the Anchorage Times back in the day.

And, apropos of nothing, if anyone else has noticed that the fire-engine red Parnell campaign signs have morphed into kind of a rusty red now that they are Parnell-Treadwell signs, that's just a fluke of the printing process.

"I think you're reading a tealeaf that nobody stirred there," says Mead.