First Posted: 6/3/2009
A Mount Airy native who is related to the original Siamese twins also is making a mark in the political world by running for governor of Florida.
Alex Sink, a Democrat, presently is serving her first term as chief financial officer in that state, a post she was elected to in 2006.
A former banking executive, Sink is the daughter of Kester Sink of Mount Airy. She also is a great-granddaughter of Chang Bunker, one of the Siamese twins who was born in what is now Thailand. He and his brother Eng toured with P.T. Barnums circus and settled on a farm in the White Plains community, where they are buried.
Sink was out of her office Wednesday and unavailable for comment.
But according to recent published reports from Florida announcing her candidacy for governor of Florida, Sink is responding to plans by present Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, to run for the U.S. Senate. This will open up the governors post, which will be up for election in 2010.
Sink, now considered the Democratic front-runner, said she wants to give Florida a fresh start after years of Republican leadership by putting state governments focus on families rather than politics.
Her husband, Bill McBride, ran for governor of Florida in 2002. He defeated former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in a Democratic primary, but lost to Republican Jeb Bush in the general election.
When she became chief financial officer in 2006, the Mount Airy native was the first woman elected to statewide office in Florida in almost 10 years and the first female in the state Cabinet since 1998.
After spending her earlier years in Mount Airy, Sink moved to Charlotte in the 1970s to join North Carolina National Bank, now Bank of America. She later was transferred to New York and eventually Florida, where she headed all the banks operations there until retiring nine years ago.
Sink said she hopes to put her business experience to work in restoring the states economy.
The local native is expected to square off against Republican front-runner Bill McCollum, Floridas attorney general, who has a slim lead in early polling.