1Duke, Mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota
He must be doing something right! Duke, a 9-year-old Great Pyrenees, has been elected to his third term as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota. The pooch had no trouble scoring a landslide victory in the election, which was held during the 6th Annual Cormorant Daze Festival in August 2016. Residents are evidently satisfied with Duke's policies and overall job performance, as he ran unopposed this year.
2Saucisse, Mayoral Candidate in Marseille, France
Saucisse had a double claim to fame — he was both the star of his own detective novels, as well as a candidate in the 2001 mayoral elections in Marseille, France.
The Dachshund had humble, if not tragic, beginnings. He was found in a pile of trash and was rescued by the Société Protectrice des Animaux (Society for the Protection of Animals). After a series of operations, he was adopted by L'Écailler du Sud, a Marseille publishing house which made him a hero of many novels. His fame grew, and in 2001, he ran for mayor during the municipal elections, with the slogan “For a more human sauciété” (a sausage pun on “society” and his name). He came in sixth with 4.5% of the votes.
Saucisse remained popular in the region, and his owners used his celebrity status to bring light to injustices in the country. In 2009, he also starred as a housemate for a reality show called Secret Story (the French version of Big Brother) and all the money he won on it was donated to the rescue organization that found him. He lived to the ripe old age of 16 years.
3Stubbs, Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska
Politicians aren't immune to the occasional online death hoax, and Stubbs, the cat mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, is no exception. To whoever made up the story in May 2016, “you seriously have no life. He is perfectly fine sleeping right now. He's alive and well,” wrote Stephanie Enders, owner of Nagley's General Store, where the cat spends his days.
Stubbs has been the town's honorary mayor since 1997. After surviving a dog attack in 2013, his popularity surged — he currently has more than 35,000 followers on Facebook. The political kitty is believed to be 19 and, despite his advanced age, still runs things with an iron fist in Talkeetna — and his constituents couldn't be happier.
4Clay Henry III, Mayor of Lajitas, Texas
In the 1980s, a joke race for mayor of Lajitas, Texas was held between a human and a goat named Clay Henry. The human won the first election, but must not have done enough for Lajitas — the goat took the second election in a landslide.
Clay Henry and family more or less became a political dynasty with all the influence of the Kennedys in the Texas town. Clay Henry's son, Clay Henry II, also became mayor but was killed by his son, and current goat mayor, Clay Henry III.
The Henry family is widely known for its love of beer. Clay Henry Sr. was known to drink as many as 35-40 beers a day. However, his offspring are said to have a lower tolerance. One of the current mayor's constituents was unhappy with his being fed beer on a Sunday — a day when state law forbids the sale of alcohol — and promptly castrated the goat. Ranchers sutured up the wound, and the man was charged with animal cruelty. Fortunately, Clay Henry III recovered quickly and was downing beers the very next day.
5Pigasus, Yippie Presidential Candidate
At Chicago's Democratic National Convention in 1968, the Yippies (Youth International Party) nominated a pig for president, with the campaign pledge: “They nominate a president and he eats the people. We nominate a president and the people eat him.”
The Yippies were protesting the war in Vietnam, the failure of racial integration, and a call for a break from the two-party system. They brought their point home by offering the pig as an alternative candidate, clearly dramatizing the unwholesome offerings of the time (Democratic nominee Hubert H. Humphrey, and his Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon).
Pigasus' candidacy was short-lived. Jerry Rubin had just begun the official introductions at his first press conference, when he, the pig, folksinger Phil Ochs, Stew Albert, and several others were arrested. The humans were bailed out later in the day, but Pigasus' ultimate end remains unknown. He was rumored to have ended up as dinner at the home of some Chicago police officers.
6Lucy Lou, mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky (and U.S. presidential candidate)
Can Lucy Lou do any worse than the leading candidates of 2016? Probably not.
In 2009, the border collie was elected mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. She's the first female to hold that position — albeit, the third dog. Now, she has set her sights even higher — Lucy Lou aspires to be the first canine president of the U.S.
The canine candidate is running as a member of the grassroots "Indepawdent Party" and has a saucy slogan — “The bitch you can really count on” — which she's been using since her successful 2008 mayoral campaign. She even has a well thought out platform — she stands for smaller government, lowering taxes, increased spending on mental health care, and is for liberal immigration. And she's a supporter of equal marriage rights for all — cats and dogs should be able to marry within their own species, without regard to sex or gender, she said.
7Shunka, mayor of Divide, Colorado
Shunka, a wolf living at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, won the 2016 mayoral election in Divide, Colorado.
The election is organized by the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter. Each animal mayor is elected to a two-year term. This is the fourth election the organization has held, but the first time a wolf has won. Each vote costs $1, and the money goes to help the shelter with their daily expenses. This year they brought in a whopping $38,000.
8Bosco Ramos, Mayor of Sunol, California
Bosco Ramos, a Black Labrador and Rottweiler mix, defeated two humans to win the election as mayor of Sunol, California in 1981. His tongue-in-cheek election made international news after a newspaper in China denounced it as evidence of the failings of democracy. However, the puppy propaganda only cemented Bosco as a legend, and, today, more than two decades after his death in 1994, tourists still visit the quirky hamlet to hear his story. In 2008, Sunol placed a bronze statue of Bosco under the town clock, complete with his classic neckerchief.