So, how do you say Balukoff? A.J. Balukoff, newly announced Democratic candidate for governor, says it’s like the Baloo, the bear in the Jungle Book – the accent is on the LU. (Baloo was the “sleepy brown bear” in the Kipling classic; in the Disney version, he’s the popular character who sings about “The Bare Necessities.”) The name is Bulgarian; that’s where Balukoff’s grandparents emigrated from when they came to this country 100 years ago this month.
Also, the A.J. stands for Anthony Joseph, but he’s always gone by A.J. The reason: Anthony is his father’s name, and Josephine is his mother’s, so the family already had a Tony and a Jo.