Every now and then, a candidate runs for office and restores the peoples’ faith in democracy. Here are 9 times a truly honest, trustworthy candidate ran—and a few times they even got elected.
Bosco Ramos: America’s First Dog Mayor
Bosco Ramos, better known as simply “Bosco” was elected mayor of Sunol, California in 1981 where he served his townspeople until his death in 1994. The black Labrador/Rottweiler mix beat out two human candidates to win the 1981 election in the small unincorporated town of Sunol where he quickly became a beloved civil servant, hanging out outside the local bar, begging visitors for treats, and taking walks with residents of the tiny town.
Bosco was official America’s first canine mayor, leading the town’s annual parades and attending events in a custom-fitted tuxedo. When a fire all but leveled downtown Sunol in 1987, Bosco sat on the sidelines, watching sadly as firefighters put out the blaze.
In 2008, a statue was erected next to the Sunol post office. The bronze sculpture features Bosco’s signature bandana and lolling tongue. Rumor has it that rubbing the statue’s belly leads to good luck.
Up Next, meet Duke the Dog, the mayor of a Minnesota town:
Duke: The Mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota
In August of 2014, a 7-year old Great Pyrenees named Duke was elected by the people of Cormorant, Minnesota as their town’s mayor.
After his landslide win – of the 12 people that voted in the election, at least 9 votes went to the dog who, before the election spent his days at a village pub eating cheeseburgers and chips. Villagers were thrilled with his win. Even his competitor, a human owner of a local store, voted for the 7-year old dog, saying “I’m going to back the dog 100 per cent. He’s a sportsman and he likes to hunt. He’ll really protect the town.”
Duke was treated to a relaxing spa day after his victory and receives an annual salary of a year’s supply of dog food from Tuffy’s Pet Food Store in the nearby village of Perham.
Up next, meet the elected Mayor of a California town with a heart of pure gold:
Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II: Mayor of Idyllwild, California
Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) sponsored Idyllwild’s first-ever mayoral election in 2012. A total of 14 dogs and 2 cats were nominated and ran for office. Constituents cast their votes via $1 donations each, raising $31,000 for ARF. With 2/3 of the votes, Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller won the race. While Max’s term was to last only one year, he was so beloved by the community that they petitioned to extend his term another year. But, the world’s most honest politician sadly passed before reaching the end of his term. His successor, Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II took over the important role along with two deputy mayors: Mikey and Mitzi.
When Max II’s term reached its end, the community once again voted to extend his term, this time in perpetuity. Max II, and his deputies Mikey and Mitzi, continue to serve the people of Idyllwild today.
Up next, meet Tai, the Poodle that became President!
Tai the Poodle: The World’s Only Canine President
In 1989, regional boundaries in a remote area of New Zealand were redrawn, making Whangamomona, New Zealand, formerly part of the Taranaki Region, now a part of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region. Residents, unhappy with the decision, declared themselves the “Republic of Whangamomona.”
As part of their annual Republic Day, residents of the self-proclaimed Republic vote to either keep their current President – whether that’s a human, and animal, or an inanimate object is of no concern – or elect a new one. The region has had quite a few unusual presidents over the years, including Billy Gumboot the Goat and Murtle the Turtle, but in 2003, the people elected Tai, a Standard Poodle as their fearless leader.
Unfortunately, Tai only served the people for a year before an assassination attempt – he was attacked by another dog while trying to enjoy a bone – rendered him too stressed to remain in office and he resigned.
Up next, meet three dogs elected as Mayor of the same small Kentucky town!
Goofy, Junior Cochran, Lucy Lou, Brynn, and Wilbur-Beast: Canine Mayors of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky:
Mayor Goofy Borneman was the first elected mayor of Rabbit Hash, a tiny river town in Kentucky. Despite being a bit of a troublemaker in his youth, lounging in the streets and poaching the town chickens, Goofy was elected Mayor when local residents simply became fed up with human politics.
Junior, a black Labrador, became the 2nd Mayor of Rabbit Hash after Goofy passed away, but not before starting a long legacy of canine mayors.
Following Junior’s reign as Mayor, the town elected Lucy Lou. The red & white Border Collie continued to bust through glass ceilings when she became the first female Mayor of Rabbit Hash.
Following Lucy’s terms in office, Brynneth Pawltro, better known as Brynn, a pit bull terrier, was elected. In 2020, French Bulldog, Wilbur-Beast took over the important job in a landslide victory over his opponents.
Up next, meet Saucisee, the dog who nearly became the mayor or Marseille!
Saucisse: The Almost Mayor of Marseille
In 1998, when he was very young, a tiny, malnourished and neglected Dachshund was found in the garbage by rescuers from the Société Protectrice des Animaux, an animal rescue organization in France. After multiple operations and months of loving care, the sweet little dog was adopted by Serge Scotto, an author of detective novels, who named him Saucisse (French for “Sausage”) and wrote him into future novels as the leading hero.
In 2001, Saucisse became a candidate in Marseille, France’s municipal elections where he won 4% of the votes from the people.
While he didn’t win the election, he did continue onto his path to stardom, in 2007 becoming a house-guest on the 3rd season of Secret Story, a French version of the TV show, Big Brother.
Up next, meet another Dachshund/would-be public servant, Molly the Dog!
Molly the Dog: A Candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
In 2008, Molly, a Doxie from Oklahoma, ran against Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Barack Obama under the BYOB (Bring Your Own Bone?) Party with the position that she should become President for the sole reason that she was the better than the other choices available to the American people.
Of course, Molly didn’t win the People’s vote, but she did release this single campaign ad:
Want to meet more unlikely political candidates? Check out these 6 Cats Who Ran for Office!