As we head into the 2020 election, things are looking, well, pretty grim. Many voters aren't feeling super jazzed about any of the frontrunners and if you've talked politics with anyone lately, you've probably heard some variation of "my dog could do a better job than [insert least favorite politician here]." Yes, comments like these are sarcastic gallows humor, but there's also a little truth to the idea of a dog making a decent elected official. Here are eight amazing animals who have actually been elected to public office.
1. Murfe the dog, Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont
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Earlier this year, on Super Tuesday to be exact, the people of Fair Haven, Vermont elected a new mayor: three-year-old therapy dog Murfee, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
2. Lincoln the goat, former Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont
Fair Haven has a tradition (so far just a two-year tradition, but here's hoping it lasts until the end of time) of electing a four-legged, furry candidate as mayor. Murfee narrowly beat out the incumbent, a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln, by 25 votes.
3. Sweet Tart the cat, Mayor of Omena, Michigan
In 2018, a cat named Sweet Tart McKee was elected as the fourth mayor of Omena, a small village about 25 miles away from Traverse City. According to CNN, the village, which has a population of roughly 300, has elected fanimals as its mayors for more than a decade. Omena is an unincorporated village and doesn't have its own government, so its elections are more of a fundraising event than anything else. The elections are run by the Omena Historical Society. and each vote cast costs $1, with the proceeds going to the historical society's endowment fund.
4. Duke the dog, Mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota
In 2014, Duke, a then-seven-year-old Great Pyrenees, won the mayor race in Cormorant, Minnesota, beating out human Richard Sherbrook, who was nothing but gracious in his defeat.
"There's no question that he'll do a good job representing the community," Sherbrook, who owned of a local store in the town, told ABC News at the time of losing the ceremonial title to a dog.
Duke must have done a good job, because the pup won four consecutive terms before leaving office shortly before he passed away in 2019.
5. Max II, Mayor for Life of Idyllwild
Idyllwild, California went all in on its dog mayor, electing golden retriever Max II "mayor for life" in 2014.
6. Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller, Former Mayor of Idyllwild
If you're wondering who Max I is, here's your answer: His full name was Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller and he was elected Idyllwild's first mayor in 2012, winning two-thirds of the votes. Like some other towns on this list, Idyllwild is a non-incorporated town, making the mayoral office a ceremonial one. The Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) sponsored the town's first mayoral election, the ballot for which included 14 dogs and two cats. Votes cost $1 to cast and the election raised $31,000 for ARF.
Max was inaugurated for a one-year term on July 1, 2012. Very Good Boy Max did a great job, and on February 9, 2013, ARF announced that his term was being extended through June 30, 2014. Sadly, Max passed away before the end of his term as mayor. Max I passed away on April 2, 2013, Mayor Max and his successor, Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller, II (Max II for short) arrived in Idyllwild on July 21, 2013. According to MayorMax.com (aka the best website in the world), Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends approved his mayoral transition plan. Thank goodness.
7. Stubbs the cat, Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska
One of the longest-running pet political careers of all time is that of Stubbs the Cat, who was mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska from July 1997 until his death on July 21, 2017. In addition to his own Wikipedia page, Stubbs was a bona fide tourist attraction, bringing in 30 to 40 tourists a day. He was also reportedly a total badass who only drank his water from a wine glass that had been laced with catnip. Clearly, Stubbs was drunk on power in the best way possible.
8. Bosco the dog, Mayor of Sunol, California
From 1981 until his death in 1994, a black Labrador-Rottweiler mix named Bosco the dog served as mayor of Sunol, California. In 2008, a statue memorializing Bosco was erected in front of the town's Post Office.
So, next time someone suggests an animal run for president, you can point out that there have been quite a few in office and some are still around today to take their politics national.