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A Brief History of Animals Elected to Public Offices

By Kate Hudson | Politics | September 27, 2018 |

By Kate Hudson | Politics | September 27, 2018 |


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The current state of American politics is horrific, exhausting, and makes me want to crawl into a hole and hibernate for 30 years. It’s important that we keep bearing witness and resisting as much as we can but it gets overwhelming and sometimes you need a quick mental break from all the chaos to remember a simpler time—when a cat was mayor of a small town in Alaska, or that a mule was once offered a precinct seat in a unanimous vote. Yes friends, in this wacky, mixed up world of ours, sometimes we get a political candidate that would much rather chew on a rawhide or chase a squirrel than balance a budget—so I present to you, a brief history of animals elected to public office (and yes, there is an obvious Trump joke to be made here, but I’m not going to do it, because I’d rather post pictures of cats right now.)

Stubbs the Cat

Stubbs is near and dear to my heart as he’s from my home state. Stubbs was elected mayor in the city of Talkeetna in 1997, and served -honorably, I might add— in that role until his death in 2017. Stubbs, named so because he didn’t have a tail, survived multiple assassination attempts while mayor, including a 2013 run-in with a dog that left the good mayor hospitalized for 9 days. Stubbs also fell into a deep fat fryer once, but that was his own fault, and he regretted nothing (the fryer was turned off at the time, proving cats truly do have 9 lives.) Stubbs lived a colorful life, and despite being an indoor/outdoor cat AND a mayor, lived to be 20 years old.

Boston Curtis the Mule

Boston, a brown mule, was elected “committeemen” by his constituents in the small town of Milton, Washington to represent them to the Republican party at the county level. Boston was initially nominated by the mayor of the town as a prank, but you can’t keep a good mule down, and Boston didn’t let his inauspicious start into politics hold him back. He was elected unanimously, and served his people well.

Bosco the Dog

Bosco, a black lab, was a very very good boy, and served as mayor in the unincorporated community of Sunol in California. First elected in 1981, Bosco defeated two human candidates to win the position—I’m guessing because Sunol residents, like all of us, place a high value on political candidates that enjoy playing fetch and drinking their water from a bowl, not a cup. Bosco, not content to lead just a political life, even appeared on the game show the 3rd Degree, where contestants had to guess what Bosco’s job was for prizes. None of them guessed correctly. Bosco served his community until his death in 1994.

Duke the Dog

Duke, a Great Pyrenees, served as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota for 4 years. First elected in 2014, Duke faced election every year so he was always on the campaign trail. After 4 years in the game, decided to hang up his ceremonial mayoral title this summer to enjoy some much-needed downtime. A very good boy, he was by all accounts a very good mayor as well.

Sweet Tart the Cat

Sweet Tart was elected mayor to Omena, Michigan earlier this summer. In true cat-fashion, she came in first, her first and second vice-mayors are dogs (did you have any doubt that a cat mayor wouldn’t keep dogs underneath her?) and her press secretary is a goat. A goat! May Sweet Tart have a long life, and keep her subjects, sorry, constituents on a short leash.



Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.



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