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Morris the Cat is running for mayor of a city in Veracruz, Mexico, joining a pantheon of esteemed animal leaders in North America who have not only run, they've won.
Would animals make better politicians that actual people?
Two men have put forward “Morris the Cat” as a candidate for mayor in the state capital Xalapa. Morris is a real cat with a real political platform: he promises to “sleep and do nothing” if elected, which, as he points out, is what all politicians do anyway.
Unlike his human opponents, however, Morris also acknowledges he’ll probably make a mess or two. But he pledges to clean up after himself and not leave them behind for future mayors. Morris the Cat's candidacy arose from a disillusionment with the human field of candidates. Morris the Cat's campaign slogan is fitting: “Xalapa without rats.”
If Morris the Cat wins, he’ll likely forge strong relations with a number of politicians in North America, where inhuman mayors are more common than you might think.
1. Mayor Stubbs, Telkeetna, Alaska
In the small town of Talkeetna, Alaska, they’ve had the same mayor for 15 years — a tail-less cat named Stubbs. In this underdog story, Stubbs was elected in his infancy after being found in a cardboard box. He entered the race as a write-in candidate and won against his more human competition. Every afternoon, Stubbs takes his catnip with a side of water in a wine glass, leaving some residents to wonder if the position — which is largely honorary since the town is a “historical district," meaning it is state- or federally-governed, rather than locally — has gone to his head. Stubbs won after the town’s residents found the human candidates unsatisfactory. Now that they’ve got Stubbs, they’re happy. As Resident Laurie Stec put it, “He’s good. Probably the best we’ve had.”
2. Mayor Clay Henry III, Lajitas, Texas
Clay Henry III, a goat, has two passions: politics and alcohol. He isn’t just your everyday farm animal — he’s the mayor of Lajitas, Texas, and his claim to fame is, of all things, beer guzzling. He actually comes from a line of politically-minded goats. He was the third in his family to become mayor after an election in 2000, where he managed to defeat both a wooden Indian and a dog named Clyde. So don’t underestimate him. In fact, a man who haphazardly castrated Clay Henry back in 2002 as a joke was brought to trial (he was acquitted) after they found Clay Henry bleeding in his pen the next morning (he recovered). Visitors to Lajitas can pay tribute to Clay Henry III by popping the top off a beer and giving him a swig outside of the trading post in town, where he is said to now reside.
3. Mayor Lucy Lou, Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
In 2008, 10 dogs, one cat, an opossum, a jackass and a real life person all vied for power in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, a small town in the Ohio River Valley. Red-and-white border collie Lucy Lou ultimately emerged as victor, and she still serves in her post today. She ran on the non-partisan canine ticket and supports feline and canine presence in the general store. The townspeople tend to agree with her slogan that she’s “a bitch you can count on.”
4. Former Mayor April the Cow, Eastsound, Washington
A snap election was called in Eastsound after the tragic death of its former mayor, April the Cow, who was first elected in 2011. The new pack of candidates include Fargo, Lucy, Panda, Jinjer, and Winston — all dogs. There are dogs of all colors and sizes, and write-in candidates are still being accepted. You can read her official letter confirming her candidacy here, where she greets her “gentle bipeds” and says, “My pedigree says I am called a Brown Swiss. I say I am 100 percent American.” April passed away last September. The current election is set to close July 6, 2013.
Candidates who didn't quite cut it:
Animal leaders aren’t only American. In France, a daschund by the name Saucisse, French for sausage, ran for mayor of Marseille. Although he only received 4 percent of the vote, Saucisse went on to star in France’s big-brother style reality show, Secret Story 3.
In 1959, a rhinocerous named Cacareco was nominated in Brazil. Although he won 100,000 votes — more than any other political party — electoral officials refused to allow him to power.
Black-and-white cat Tuxedo Stan campaigned to become mayor in Halifax, Canada in 2012. He ran under the motto “a chicken in every pot and a litter box in every house.” However, officials denied Tuxedo Stan an official place on the ballot.