7 Animals Who Ran for Political Office
Sometimes elected officials might act like animals, but many thought these actual four-legged creatures would make great leaders.
By Katie Macdonald
Morris for Mayor of Xalapa
Mexican voters frustrated with rats in politics turned to another option in 2013: a black-and-white feline named Morris. Nominated for mayor of Xalapa by two students as a joke, the cat attracted nearly 150,000 likes on Facebook and more than 7,500 votes on election day. Although Morris wasn’t allowed on the ballot, his owners argued the cat would make a perfect politician: he sleeps and does nothing all day.
Stubbs for Mayor of Talkeetna
One Alaskan cat managed to claw all the way
to the top of his town’s politics. For 16 years, Stubbs, an orange manx, has served as honorary mayor
of Talkeetna, Alaska. According to locals, the town’s 900 residents elected
Stubbs as a write-in candidate after rejecting the human contenders. Talkeetna
residents say Stubbs is the best mayor in the town’s history and praise his laissez-faire business practices.
Cacareco for City Council of São Paulo
In 1959, a Brazilian rhinoceros named Cacareco (meaning garbage) beat out more than 500 city council candidates with 100,000 votes. São Paulo students submitted Cacareco’s name on the ballot as a joke, but the five-year-old rhinoceros became a symbol of residents’ political frustrations. A decade later, Cacareco inspired another political movement: the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. The satire political party argues rhinos make the perfect politicians because they are “thick-skinned, slow-moving and not too bright, but can move fast as hell when in danger.”
Lucy Lou for Mayor of Rabbit Hash
residents of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky don’t mind if their politicians are dogs. In
fact, their current mayor, Lucy Lou, is the town’s third canine politician. The
red and white border collie won against several dogs, a cats, an opossum, and a
human in 2008. Her duties are simple: supporting fundraising events and
greeting visitors. In addition, in 2011, Lucy Lou helped accept a $1,000 “stimulus check” from Reader's Digest
“We Hear You America” campaign.
Clay Henry for Mayor of Lejitas
Not many can make the transition from entertainment to politics, but one goat named Clay Henry easily transformed from a beer-drinking mascot to beer-drinking mayor. Residents of Lejitas, Texas elected Clay Henry in the 1980s after a Houston businessman became mayor of the small West Texas town. Clay Henry’s owner told the New York Times, "I decided that if somebody from Houston can be mayor of Lajitas, then why not my goat?" Today, Clay Henry’s grandson, Clay Henry III, serves as honorary mayor and also enjoys a beer now and again.
Pigasus for President of the United States
Politics are tough for pigs, as Pigasus found out in the 1968 presidential election. Nominated by the Youth International Party (Yippies) to protest the Vietnam War, police arrested Pigasus and seven of his human supporters at a rally to announce Pigasus’ candidacy. Police told the Yippies that Pigasus squealed on them. While the humans posted bail, Pigasus was never heard from again.
Incitatus for Consule of Rome
The favorite horse of the insane Roman emperor Caligula, Incitatus lived in a marble stall, ate oats mixed with gold, and served on the Roman consul, according to ancient historian Suetonius. But modern historians say Suetonius exaggerated and Caligula’s insanity might just be political genius. By nominating Incitatus, the ancient Roman emperor showed that even animals could serve on the consul.