Jody Mahony and Growing Up
Here is a young and foolish Mark Moore about to debate Senator Jodie Mahony. I ran against Mahony when he ran for re-election in 1998.
I lived in El Dorado from 1992 to 2001. I brashly challenged Mahony when he ran for re-election to the State Senate in 1998. Today I heard about his death from cancer at age 70.
This is not the time to discuss the policy differences that led me to challenge him in that race. He beat me soundly in that election, as you might expect. Though I never accepted his premises of government, I came to respect him on the primal level that one man respects another who has bested him at something important.
To show you how much I have changed since that time, one of the non-policy issues that caused me to run against him was that then-Governor Mike Huckabee came to town and I felt that Mahony slighted him from the podium. After I started campaigning, I began to see the other side of Mike Huckabee, and got a lot more sympathy for where Mahony was coming from. Huckabee was afraid of offending Jody Mahony and clearly wanted nothing to do with me! I remember one time when Huckabee came back to town and shook Mahony's hand warmly. Every time I, the Republican candidate running against Mahony at that time, tried to get anywhere near the Governor he darted away from my approaches with an agility that was surprising for a man of his heft.
I finally left the room without ever shaking the Governor's hand, concluding that the only way I could get a hold of Huckabee was literally to tackle him at a dead sprint, so eager was he to avoid contact with the impudent young fellow running against the Senator.
Obviously, I have grown up a lot since that time (I was in my mid 30s). Time mellows us all. I do remember one time when Senator Mahony told me that I needed to "grow up". While I was running against him we were talking and I asked him about his salvation. He replied that he was a member of such-and-such a church. I said, "But do you admit you are a sinner in need of God's forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ?" That's when he said that, and turned and walked away. He was right in the larger sense. I was in my 30s, but I still had a lot of growing up to do.
Though he was farther along in life than I was at the time, it is my fervent hope that he grew up in the interval too. God was always good to him in life, and it is easy for me to believe that Jody Mahony was one of those people that God determined to bless whether what they did was good or bad. My belief is that if Jody Mahony were asked this past year the same question that I asked him near the steps of the Union County Court House eleven years ago then he would give a very different answer. My hope is that his answer would be the same as mine- yes.
No matter what office or standing we have in this life, it is nothing but a blink in comparison to eternity. All, both great and small, will one day stand before the true King of All the Living. On that day, our growing up will be complete.