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Barber Poll: It's Fischer by a hair

It was _ harrumph! _ a close shave, but Mayor David Fischer won.

In Pedro's Barber Poll, a straw vote conducted among customers this month at Pedro's Tonsorial Parlor in the Barnett Tower downtown, Fischer beat mayoral challenger Bill Klein 44 votes to 37.

Pedro Holladay, the tonsorial entrepreneur and poll master, received one write-in vote.

For those who like percentages, it was Fischer 54 percent, Klein 45. And yes, if you want to split hairs (groan!), give Holladay the 1 percent.

Holladay closed his sealed ballot box about 1 p.m. Friday and an hour or so later, a slavering reporter, ever eager for scores and results, tore it open and counted.

There were no clumps, blocs or wads stuffing the box, and the tally stayed close throughout.

Holladay has conducted the Barber Poll for several years. "We do it about every time there's a presidential, governor's or mayor's race," he said.

The shop has a tradition of political chitchat among patrons.

Holladay said the poll predicted exactly the percentages in the 1990 governor's race between Lawton Chiles and Bob Martinez: 56 to 44, Chiles.