Secretary Will Not Seek Re-election; Campaign Chaos Ensues
SALEM, Mass. – In a press conference this afternoon at the Hexagon, Secretary of Magic Polonius Aberfoyle made the stunning announcement that he is ending his re-election campaign, and will not be on the ballot on October 28.
“After all that we’ve been through in the last seven years,” the Secretary said to a stunned press corps, “I find that I just don’t have it in me to do this for another ten. I have been honored to serve the witches and wizard of the United States as your Secretary of Magic, but I wish to return to my life as a private citizen.”
The recent history of the Secretary position has been a strange one. Aberfoyle first attained the office in a special election in April 2011, to finish out the term of Secretary of Magic James “Greywolf” Spangler, who similarly resigned the office citing fatigue. That election was controversial, as a write-in campaign for the noted totalitarian sociopath Simon Drake almost prevented a clean Electoral College win, and nearly sent the election to the House of Warlocks; Aberfoyle prevailed by a single electoral vote. Greywolf himself won re-election in 2007 after he, too, had fulfilled only a partial term, taking over when Secretary Filbert Falstaff was assassinated by the dark witch Persephone.
Aberfoyle did not actually take office until October 2011, as he was comatose from an assassination attempt at his victory celebration. Upon his recovery, Aberfoyle immediately had to face down the threat of insurrection by Drake and his supporters, which very nearly spilled into all-out civil war. Aberfoyle appointed his election opponent Oswald Kensington as his Deputy, and formed a unity government between his Progressive Wizards’ Party and Kensington’s Grand Old Mages. Once Drake was defeated, however, the parties again returned to the acrimonious politics that have characterized the last 30 years.
Outside of preventing Drake’s coup, Aberfoyle’s administration has been a mix of mild victories and strange controversies. He successfully reformed the Federal Aurors’ Service, rooting out Drake supporters, but then overshadowed that effort by legitimizing Clark Dowling’s Dark Hunters, a notorious vigilante group, as an Auror special operations team. While he improved relations with centaurs and merpeople, his efforts at full house elf emancipation went nowhere following a GOM filibuster in the Wizard Senate. He can boast of solid relations with wizard governments around the world, notably England, Ireland, France, and Namibia. The student foreign exchange program he instituted has been a bright spot for America’s wizard schools, especially Avistrum Academy of Sorcery.
Despite his mixed record, Aberfoyle was leading in the most recent Morning Oracle poll, with 54% of likely voters preferring him to his GOM opponent, Laurasia Jones, the junior Senator from Virginia, currently serving her second term. The augury site fivethirtyseven.wiz Aberfoyle him an 83% chance to win a second term in their last forecast.
PWP leaders are scrambling this evening to organize a meeting of the party’s executive committee to put forward a replacement nominee. Aberfoyle has not endorsed a candidate.
It’s still unclear as to what drove Aberfoyle’s sudden decision to drop out of the race. One staffer, who asked to remain anonymous, suggested that it had a lot to do with the new muggle President. “This new guy, upon learning that there was a Secretary of Magic, immediately tried to fire him. When he learned that he couldn’t, things got pretty frosty. Every time the Secretary asks for a meeting, the man is off playing golf. And then, when they do meet, the Secretary has to explain again that he can’t use magic to find missing emails. It’s no wonder he’s exhausted.”
It’s not clear what will be next for the Secretary once his term ends on October 29th. Rumors have already circulated that he’s getting offers for Board of Director positions at several prestigious companies. He may also elect to return to teaching at Avistrum, where he was Professor of Transfiguration and Head of Parador House for several years. The Secretary’s office declined to comment on his plans.