Need a Break from Politics? Let's Talk Pawlitics!

Sometimes it takes an animal to do a human's job.

When a ginger-tabby kitten with a stub tail was found in Talkeetna, Alaska, who could’ve purr-dicted his pawlitical future? Stubbs was elected the town’s honorary mayor after voters opposed to the human candidates led a write-in campaign. The town’s general store became his “mayoral office”. Thirty to forty tourists visited each day to see the feline mayor, who went to a nearby restaurant every afternoon and drank catnip water out of a wineglass or margarita glass. Stubbs served as mayor for 20 years and passed away in 2017. Bonus fun fact: Stubbs was also a write-in candidate for the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Alaska.

Boston Curtis, a brown mule, ran for a Republican precinct seat in Milton, Washington in 1938, winning 51-0.

The Youth International Party nominated Pigasus the Immortal, a boar hog, as a candidate in the 1968 U.S. presidential election.

Colossus the Gorilla was the main attraction at Benson's Wild Animal Farm in Hudson, New Hampshire. Zoo officials tried to put the American-born primate on the ballot in the 1980 New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary. However, Benson's argument that the U.S. Constitution does not specify that a presidential candidate must be human was rejected.

Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler mix, served as mayor of Sunol, California from 1981 to 1994.

In Cormorant, Minnesota, seven-year-old Duke the Great Pyrenees was elected mayor four times! Before passing away in 2019, Duke was an impawtent public servant who helped raise money and fund projects with his dollar-per-vote elections. He even once ran against his “girlfriend”. It’s unknown if their relationship survived the pawlitical contest.

Molly, a dachshund from Oklahoma, was listed as a candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

In Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, border collie Lucy Lou served as the town’s third canine mayor from 2008 to 2016. She was one of a field of candidates that included several other dogs, a cat, an opossum, and a human. Lucy Lou’s duties included promoting fundraisers and greeting visitors.

The next canine mayor of Rabbit Hash was the pitbull Brynneth Pawltro, who took office in 2016. Brynneth was elected over a cat, a donkey, and a chicken. Voters paid a dollar per vote, and the election raised funds for Rabbit Hash General Store.

BREAKING NEWS: Rabbit Hash has just elected a new mayor!

A chicken named Mae Poulet, whose human was TV host and California councilmember Charlotte Laws, ran for Vice President on the Bully ticket in the 2012 election.

Also in 2012, Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon from Northern Virginia, ran against Tim Kaine and George Allen for a U.S. Senate seat. He claimed third place with nearly 7,000 votes.

Another 2012 pawlitical candidate was a tuxedo cat named Tuxedo Stan, who ran for mayor in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He re-purr-esented the Tuxedo Party, a pawlitical movement aimed to improve the welfare of felines in Halifax. He was even endorsed by celebrities that included Anderson Cooper! He lost the race, unfortunately, but the Halifax City Council was inspired to award a large grant to a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. That’s a win fur many of the cats and dogs in the city!

A cat named Morris was a 2013 candidate for mayor of Xalapa, Mexico. Two students jokingly nominated the black-and-white kitty, who received more than 150,000 likes on Facebook and 7,500 write-in votes. Morris lost the election but won the hearts of many of the citizens.

In their 2014 election, the humans of Idyllwild, California made a golden retriever named Max II mayor for life!

Crawfish B. Crawfish was a U.S. presidential candidate from Louisiana. His campaign began on a Facebook page created in May 2015 with the title "Can This Crawfish Get More Supporters Than Bobby Jindal?" It started receiving media attention after Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race. Crawfish got the attention of publications like Huffington Post, Salon magazine, Bustle, and popular Louisiana-based publications NOLA Defender and Gambit. Crawfish was officially registered with the Federal Election Commission, representing a non-listed party, in July 2015. Crawfish’s platform included support of education, gender equality, same-sex marriage, and Game of Thrones, as well as criticism of the strict bi-partisan system.

Also in 2015, lawyer Michael Ewing of Flint, Michigan launched the "Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor" write-in campaign after an error in a city-clerk office nearly erased all the names of the candidates in the August 2015 mayoral primary election. Ewing said the pig's candidacy "sought to draw more attention to the mayoral race, better educate voters about their choices, and encourage residents to demand more of elected officials." Giggles gained a fan following online, but the "other candidates for mayor were less amused." The write-in campaign was scrapped after state officials corrected the error and put four candidates on the ballot, and the race had become "no longer an even playing field" for Giggles. Giggles' Facebook page became an outlet for sharing good news stories about Flint.

Limberbutt McCubbins was registered with the Federal Election Commission as a Kentucky Democratic candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Rachel Maddow Show put this unconventional news story in the national spotlight, and the cat was endorsed by Jezebel, a popular blog for women. According to Politifact, the legitimacy of the feline's candidacy was "half true"; the FEC did not recognize its legitimacy, because the cat hadn't spent or received $5,000. Emilee McCubbins, the cat's human, and Isaac Weiss, whose idea it was to nominate the cat, wanted to encourage reform of the FEC; they said that the candidate-registration process took only "20 minutes", and that they didn't even have to provide a social-security number. The pawlitical stunt had a secondary objective of encouraging voter registration, particularly among young voters.

Residents of Omena, Michigan, an unincorporated community of 267 residents, elected as their mayor a calico cat named Sweet Tart in July 2018. It was a purr-ely ceremonial position. But the election also served as a fundraiser for the town’s historical society. As in other towns’ elections, voters pay a dollar per vote—and they can vote as many times as they like. (No such thing as voter fur-aud!) This election raised over $7,000! Sweet Tart is accompanied on the village council by a puppy named Punkin Anderson Harder, Penny the Chicken, and Harley the Goat.

In March 2019, Fair Haven, Vermont had a very close mayoral race between a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln and a Samoyed dog named Sammie. The goat won by just two votes!

In Lajitas, Texas, candidates for a mayoral race included the incumbent human Tommy Steele, a trading post wooden Indian, a dog named Buster, and a goat named Clay Henry. The goat won in a landslide, and that has been voters' preferred species of mayor ever since.

These are just the stories out of North America. There are many more wild and wacky pawlitical “tails" around the world!

"They said, 'Don't try to change the world, you're just a girl.'" Unapologetically for all that is right and just. "Here, right matters." - Lt. Col. Vindman

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