A Canine Candidate
by Seizure-alert dog Daisy Mae Delray
This month - Daisy Mae, inspired by other non-human candidates for office, announces her own candidacy to raise money and awareness for animal issues!
See Daisy Mae's NEW PAGE - Animal Shelter Updates - under the Cleaver's "RESOURCES" menu tab. You find out what's new at the Hancock Animal Shelter and see dogs looking for their "furever" homes!
Campaign season is heating up for political office and I am already seeing “vote for __” signs popping up in yards and rhetoric filling the air like cotton at harvest time. I was wondering about campaign promises having to do with the protection of us animals. That caused me to wonder about running for office myself to represent our interests.
I am not a novice at this as I have interviewed senators, governors and mayors for stories I have written in the past. I even applied for a position in Federal Government. That was for Chief of Staff for the President’s dog, Bo. In my application I wrote. “In general a chief of staff provides a buffer between a chief executive, i.e. First Dog and that of the executive’s direct reporting team (handlers, chefs, walkers, media, etc.).”
I went on to state, “As Chief of Staff I will be working behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes and deal with issues before they bubble up to 1st Dog. Often I will act as confidante and advisor to 1st Dog, acting as a confidential sounding board for ideas.” I did not get that position, which in a way is a good thing, because if I was there I could not be here.
To prepare myself, I checked to see how animals have done in political races. I was not surprised to find numerous examples, such as the race in 1938 in Milton, Washington State where Boston Curtis, a brown mule, won his Republican precinct seat by 51 votes. Several animals in the U.S. have been elected mayors of small towns such as Rabbit Hash, KY, where a black lab named Junior Cochran won the majority of votes. In Lajitas, Texas a beer-drinking goat named Clay Henry III became mayor and in August 2014, a seven-year-old mixed-breed dog named Duke became the new mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.
Three races in particular caught my eye. Stubbs the Cat won the race as honorary mayor in Talkeetna, Alaska. Stubbs was elected mayor in 1997 and he recently retired to run for senate as he realized that “Alaskans needed a resounding voice, even if it is in the form of a meow.” I liked his media campaign which you can see on Youtube below:
One thing I really liked about Stubbs was that he stayed above the fray and stuck to the issues. When asked if his running was just a hairball idea or if he was truly serious, Stubbs replies, ‘I don’t believe my personal hygiene is any of your business.’ Yea for candor!
In another race, a senate seat this time. Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon, ran in the 2012 United State Senate election in Virginia. Details can be found on the official site http://hankforsenate.com. Hank’s story was an inspiration to me. He and his siblings were picked up by animal control and scheduled for euthanasia but were rescued by Animal Allies and adopted into a family in Springfield, Virginia. Hank’s platform was based in part on the need to raise awareness and funding for spay and neuter programs. By the end of the campaign more than $60,000 dollars had been raised and Hank won 7,319 write in votes, coming in third in the Virginia senate election.
My last example is a little closer to home. In Fairhope, Alabama, a seven-year-old Labrador retriever by the name of Willie Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane ran for mayor. He was the only dog running against seven men. Willie Bean was invited to candidate’s forums and other events. I like the energy he brought to the election process, adding a little fun and the other candidates embraced the idea of Willie in the race.
There was a serious side to Willie's campaign and that was awareness of animal issues. His campaign raised funds for the local animal rescue organizations by asking for a dollar per vote. I also liked his campaign slogans which I may borrow: “sniffing out the issues,” “a doggone good choice," “if you can’t run with the big dogs, then don’t run for office,” and “always one leg up on the competition."
Okay, I am announcing my candidacy for the position of Hancock County Supervisor at Large for Animal Issues. I am too late to get on the official ballot so it will have to be write-in only. We are just starting the race so I will give you additional information in my next column.
Right now, I am focusing on campaign materials and strategy. I will be running on issues important to all citizens of Hancock County which include: No more puppy mills, along with spay and neuter, as a start. More to come!
Please contact us if you want to serve on my campaign committee. I can be reached through my person at 228.222.7018 or Christina@figaroconsulting.com.
Keep your tail high and your feet dry. Love, Daisy Mae