Mt. Airy native Alex Sink, 62, is the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida. This account appeared in the St. Petersburg Times during her successful 2006 campaign for state chief financial officer:
“Sink is the great-granddaughter of ‘the twins,’ as she calls them. She grew up in the house
Chang and Eng built…. She speaks of their commitment to education, intellectualism and the business savvy for a couple of P.T. Barnum circus attractions to decide to cut out the middle man to make enough money to become farmers….
“Strangers would come to see her house growing up. On the streets of Mount Airy, people would sometimes stop and ask the little girl with the hint of oriental features, ‘Are you one of the Bunkers?’…
” ‘We didn’t talk about it a lot. I grew up in a puritan age and there was always the sex thing,’ she said, referring to twins’ nearly two dozen children. Then there’s the pride in community: ‘Here are these two circus attractions who ended up settling in redneck North Carolina and were accepted in the community.’
“Sink’s father, Kester Sink (a very un-PC pistol we last saw ogling waitresses at a West Tampa campaign event during her husband Bill McBride’s gubernatorial campaign in 2002 — precisely why, Sink says, he’ll be kept out of sight in this campaign) still lives in the Eng/Chang home and talked to National Geographic:
” ‘Sink, a successful businessman who owns the largest chunk of Bunker land, does not suffer fools and ferociously protects the Bunker legacy. “They were not freaks,” he says with a stare that dares you to think otherwise. “They were human beings who had a tremendous physical adversity to overcome. They left their home in Siam, their mother and family, and immediately picked up the language, mores, and manners of their adopted country. They were gutsy, smart, and self-confident.” ‘ ”
This just in from the Mt. Airy News: Kester Sink, now 86, “so far has only participated in [Alex’s] campaign from a distance [but] is planning to journey to Florida as the governor’s race hits the home stretch.”