On an Election Day filled with upsets, the father of evolutionary theory proved incapable of riding the wave down in Georgia.
Fictional write-in candidate Charles Darwin was promoted around Georgia's 10th congressional district to provide a symbolic challenge to Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), the outspoken congressman who created a stir earlier this year when video emerged of him calling evolution and the big bang theory "lies from the pit of hell."
Broun had been running unopposed until Jim Leebens-Mack, a plant biologist at the University of Georgia, started a Facebook page floating the idea of running Darwin to challenge the ultraconservative congressman over his anti-science views.
While there was no chance of actual victory for Darwin (the naturalist died in 1882), his supporters hoped to draw attention to the fact that Broun currently sits on the House Science Committee, despite his apparent disdain for the basic principles upheld by science itself.
Early uncertified election tallies hadn't yet registered any votes for Darwin, but Athens resident Tim Denson, who had taken on Darwin's persona in an effort to drum up support for the quixotic campaign, claimed last month that some of his supporters had voted for the write-in candidate.
"At least 100 people have told me they've already voted for Darwin," he told Athens Patch.
UPDATE -- 11/8: The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Darwin received more than 4,000 write-in votes for congress in Athens-Clarke County alone. Total write-in vote counts for the other 24 counties comprising the 10th Congressional District will be available next week.
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