It's "Madder than a hatter" vs. "Mandy in Magnolia"

Raw emotions over the election of a new governor jumped off TV screens onto a family's front porch in a scene that was one part "The West Wing," another part "Desperate Housewives."

Gail Phillips, wife of Metropolitan King County Council Chairman Larry Phillips, heard a neighbor talking about her husband on TV last week and decided to give the woman a piece of her mind.

The incident occurred a few minutes after Mandy Raymond, a supporter of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, called a TV talk show to ask questions about Democrat Larry Phillips and his uncounted absentee ballot.

Raymond, who lives a few blocks from the Phillipses in Seattle, asked King County Elections Director Dean Logan on a cable-TV station whether Phillips was on the county payroll when he made TV appearances arguing that his vote should count.

Raymond viewed Phillips' effort as campaigning for Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire.

Phillips had discovered that his ballot had been mistakenly rejected in two earlier counts. The revelation led to the discovery of many more improperly rejected ballots, and King County wound up reinstating 566 ballots, boosting Gregoire's lead.

When Gail Phillips heard "Mandy in Magnolia" call NorthWest Cable News, she knew the caller was Raymond, an acquaintance.

Gail Phillips showed up "madder than a hatter" at Raymond's doorstep, Raymond said.

Phillips objected to Raymond's pointed on-air questions.

When Phillips wouldn't calm down, Raymond threatened to call 911 and then slammed the door, she said. Phillips shouted an obscenity. Raymond reopened the door for a last retort of her own.

Phillips, an airline flight attendant, was working out of town the past two days and could not be reached for comment. Her husband said his wife sent Raymond a written apology and poinsettias the next day.

However, the gesture didn't satisfy Raymond, who contacted The Times to talk about the front-porch encounter.

Larry Phillips didn't detail his wife's version of the incident but said she went to Raymond's house because she believed he had been insulted.

"It was a brief encounter," he said. "My wife sent flowers and an apology. I don't know what else she can do."

But yesterday afternoon Larry Phillips did something else: He called a reporter to say he had sent a bouquet of flowers and a note to Raymond and her husband on behalf of his family, apologizing and wishing them a happy New Year. But, he said last night, the flowers and card were refused.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or