5 Animal Mayors

August 23, 2016

If you think this year’s presidential election has brought out people’s animal instincts, then you probably don’t live in a town that elected an actual animal to be its mayor.
Mayor Stubbs


In 1997, the manager of Nagley’s General Story in Talkeetna, Alaska (population: 876) found a box of abandoned kittens in the store’s parking lot and took a liking to a light orange one that didn’t have a tail. She named it Stubbs, and three months later Stubbs was named honorary mayor of the tiny district. The now 19-year-old cat mayor receives about 30 visitors each day, and every afternoon goes to one of Talkeetna’s few restaurants and drinks catnip-infused water out of a wineglass.

Goofy, Junior, Lucy Lou

It started as a fundraiser for a church in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, but in 1998 the town of 315 wound up naming a dog its honorary mayor. In a mock election, townsfolk paid a dollar each to “vote” and could vote as many times as they wanted to. In the end, more than 8.000 people voted for Goofy, a parishioner’s German Shepherd. He served three years until he died in 2001 at the age of 16. Electing dog mayors became a tradition in Rabbit Hash—in 2004 a black Labrador named Junior became mayor. When he died in 2008, a border collie named Lucy Lou won the special election.


In August 2016, the town of Cormorant, Minnesota re-elected its mayor to a third term. That mayor is Duke, a dog of the Great Pyrenees breed that first won the office in 2014 as a write-in candidate (he won with 12 votes), and then won another term in 2015. This is not an “honorary” position, either: Duke the dog is legally the mayor of this Minnesota town of 1,039 people.

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