At the exposition the evening before the Mardi Gras marathon, Prince Chuck George, race director for the New Orleans Track Club paused reluctantly for a picture with club president Tony Mozingo. The summit that was to take place later in the evening was aborted when George abruptly announced that he had duties to take care of and wouldn’t be available.
“Tell Elmer I said, ‘Hi’”, was the only comment he made as he was whisked from the area by his handlers…
In a letter from their Executive Director, almost hidden by their gracious New Orleans charm and manners, the NOTC hints of retaliation for the dispersions cast on their club during a raucous visit to their recent Jackson Day race by several Pine Belt Pacers. Tony Mozingo and his new sidekick, Antha Estridge, representing themselves as future high officials of the Pine Belt Pacers, reportedly stirred up old tensions (real and imagined) that had almost died down between the two clubs , and introduced several new ones, including territorial disputes, past Louisiana politics, problems with the pace car, etc. Showing a complete lack of the foreign relations skills required of a running club president, Tony even managed to personally insult the Southern Runner (a running store in New Orleans) President Mike, and the NOTC Executive director, Chuck George. The complete text of Mr. George's admirably restrained response is below.
Becky Ryder, Mississippi's RRCA representative, has reportedly cut short a long planned vacation to Big Bend, and is racing to Houston TX, to see if she can head off a similar diplomatic disaster when Tony and his crew show up for the Houston Compaq marathon next weekend.
Tony as you know is at this point the only official candidate for club president, although several troubled factions are reportedly organizing alternate slates. They are confident they can get the one vote they need to upset him (Tony has publicly promised that he will not serve unless the vote is unanimous). As their spokesman said recently "We need to elect someone who is more serious about running. All Tony cares about is getting more new members, plus getting everyone to have a good time with their running, improve their race times, and have fun going to races. What kind of goals are those for a running club?"
Keith Barrett is reportedly increasing security for the election meeting and has promised that RRCA protocol for club elections (campaign, elect, inaugurate) will be strictly enforced in spite of Tony's request to change it to: junket, inaugurate, elect, campaign. He also stated that no matter who is elected club President, the title will not be changed to District Attorney. He has not yet heard from either Jimmy Carter or Jesse Jackson as to whether or not they will be able to come help oversee the balloting, but Katherine Harris was already committed.