If you’ve ever tuned into your national news, you’ve probably seen your political leaders do some really, really dumb stuff. Doesn’t matter what country you’re from, the more time you spend following politics, the more likely it is you will eventually say “my pet fish could do this better than you.” Hold up a minute, though. It might be a joke, but have animals ever held public office?
Yes. They have. Let’s look at some of the cool ones, who would definitely do a better job than a lot of people in office right now.
Unless you’re in Canada or the US, unincorporated areas or communities are super uncommon. But such areas are pretty widespread in the US and Canada–which just means there’s a lot of space that exists outside any other municipality. Existing outside municipal government (at least in America) basically means they’re not obligated to have human officials–which is why you see animal mayors quite often. Depending on state laws, you might have a lot or no unincorporated area. New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont are basically devoid of unincorporated communities. At least in comparison to Virginia, which has over 300.
Clay Henry the Goat
Lajitas, Texas has had 3 beer drinking goats as their purported mayor. We’re pretty sure they aren’t accepting questions either.
Lucy Lou the Border Collie
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky is a town with a few hundred people that’s been kicking since about the 1830s.
While Lucy has been preceded by other canine officials (the first of whom was inaugurated in 1998), she was elected in 2008–as the first female mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.
Rabbit Hash’s mayor in the 2020’s is a French bulldog named Wilbur Beast.
Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II the Golden Retriever
Idyllwild, California replaced its other golden retriever mayor after he passed away. You can even go meet him in real life. He’s a bit of a trailblazer too–Idyllwild is known as one of the first towns to elect a dog as its mayor.
Stubbs the Cat
A small town named Talkeetna in Alaska elected Stubbs the cat in 1997, where he served as mayor until 2017 when he passed away at 20.
April the Cow
Eastsound, Washington elected a cow to be their mayor. She passed away in 2012, maybe she could have helped figure out how Washington state just straight up lost 200,000 cows recently.
Cacareco the Rhinoceros
You’re probably interested in some big name animal elections. Well we present Cacareco the Rhinoceros–who actually won the 1958 São Paulo city election by plurality. Cacareco won so much of the vote (100,000) because the Brazilian election was rife with absenteeism and her candidacy was a form of protest. Running non-human or otherwise joke candidates is a pretty common way to protest elections. You might have heard about it with the 2016 election and Harambe–though the claim that Harambe won any significant amount of votes remains largely false.
As far as Cacareco goes, she was denied recognition by electoral officials. Her impact has been weighty, though. “Vote Cacareco” is a shorthand for protest votes in Brazil, and Canada’s Rhinoceros Party was directly inspired by Cacareco.
Look at some animal puns here. Maybe you could use them as a campaign slogan for your pet!