Ike’s ice bucket challenge: Rushern Baker

There was only one person Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (D) had in mind.

Just before he was drenched in ice water, fully-clothed, he challenged his counterpart in neighboring Prince George’s County to get doused as well, and make a donation to charity as part of the recently ubiquitous ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket” campaign.

“I select 1) County Executive Rushern Baker, 2) County Executive Rushern Baker and 3) County Executive Rushern Baker,” Leggett said, according to a message and photo posted about 11 a.m. Wednesday on his official Facebook page.

Leggett was nominated for the challenge by Montgomery County’s public schools superintendent Joshua Starr.

Prince George’s County’s Baker (D) is not one to back away from a dare – especially not one from his former Howard University law professor. He has 24 hours, as the script goes, to get doused, write a donation check or both.

“County Executive Baker eagerly accepts this challenge…,” said press secretary Scott Peterson. “We are currently coordinating when he will conduct [the] challenge and who he may challenge next.”

The dousing ritual has gone viral this summer, with bipartisan participation, all in the name of raising finds and awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

President George W. Bush did it, and nominated Bill Clinton. Paul Ryan did it to Mitt Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker couldn’t resist either.

In Maryland, Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan endured the icy deluge and challenged his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown,and Brown’s running mate Howard County executive Ken Ulman. They willingly obliged.

But the deed was deemed not presidential enough for Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. diplomats, too, were told to buck the challenge.

The frigid spectacle that launched a thousand articles panning the practice, has according to the ALS organization’s latest numbers, raised $94.3 million in donations since late July.

Baker has yet to share the date and time he will fulfill the challenge.

Arelis Hernández covers Prince George’s County as part of The Washington Post's local staff.
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