Stephen Lam / Reuters
- American politics is a dog-eat-dog world — and sometimes that means an actual dog is in office.
- Small towns in California, Minnesota, Colorado, and Kentucky have all had dog mayors, and San Francisco had one for one day.
- Here are the some of the country's politicians with the loudest bark.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
There are dogged leaders, and then there are actual dog leaders. Across the US, we've found nine dogs who have been elected mayor.
Small towns in California, Minnesota, Colorado, Kentucky, as well as San Francisco have all had dog mayors.
Mostly, the dogs are figureheads. Their elections are used to raise money for animal shelters, or for the towns. Elected dogs also tend to last a long time in office, in dog-years anyway.
Continue on to see very good dogs who have been in office in towns across the US. As we didn't want to leave any animals out, we've also included three goat mayors, and a cat mayor.
Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler, was mayor of Sunol, California, from 1981 to 1994.
A statute of Bosco the Dog.
Gustonian Gifts / Facebook
Bosco defeated two humans to win the 1981 election, running as a "re-pup-lican" with campaign promises including: "a bone in every dish, a cat in every tree, and a fire hydrant in every corner," the Mercury News reported.
He served his town (which had about 1,000 residents) for 13 years until he died in 1994. He did go missing for a week in 1987, but ambled back in, mysteriously with two new flea collars, and was rewarded with some beef jerky.
During his tenure, China's Peoples Daily newspaper published a story about his election, calling it a failure of democracy. Later when a democracy rally about Tiananmen Square was held in San Francisco, Mayor Bosco was invited and joined in.
Lucy Lou, a border collie, was the first female mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. She served from 2008 to 2016.
Former Mayor Lucy Lou.
Former Mayor Lucy Lou / Facebook
Lucy Lou was the first female mayor of Rabbit Hash, and ran on the campaign slogan: "the b---- you can count on." Rabbit Hash is an incorporated community and does not need a human mayor. Instead, people can pay $1 and vote as many times as they like. The fundraiser has gone toward town improvements.
The border collie stepped down from her role as mayor to run unsuccessfully for president in 2016. She died in 2018.
—WLWT (@WLWT) September 11, 2018
Brynneth Pawltro, a pit bull, succeeded Lucy Lou as mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, in 2016, beating out a cat and a donkey.
Mayor Brynneth Pawltro of Rabbit Hash.
Mayor Brynn follows a long line of animal mayors in Rabbit Hash, beginning with a dog called Goofy who was elected in 1998. A black labrador called Junior Cochran replaced Goofy, who was replaced by the border collie, Lucy Lou.
—NYCLASS (@nyclass) November 14, 2016
Max, a golden retriever, was elected mayor of Idyllwild, California, in 2013.
Mayor Max at a documentary screening.
Mayor Max / Facebook
Max is a traveling authority, spending his weekends on the road in the back of a pickup truck, meeting constituents. He dresses sharp — always with a tie, and sometimes with a hat.
Duke, a Great Pyrenees, was first elected mayor of Cormorant Village, Minnesota, in 2014. He was reelected three times.
Duke the Great Pyrenees who was elected mayor In Cormorant, Minn. in 2015.
Richard Vogel / AP
Duke's jobs included hanging out at the local pub, appearing in parades, and keeping the "riff-raff out." He must have been doing something right. In the 2016 election, every vote cast was for him, except for one that went to his girlfriend, Lassie. He died in February 2019.
Pa Kettle, a bloodhound, was elected mayor of Divide, Colorado, in 2014.
Mayor Pa Kettle, a bloodhound.
Hot County 103.5 / Facebook
Pa Kettle won his election, beating a donkey, wolf, hedgehog, cat, and many other dogs. It was a narrow victory. He only beat Kenyi, the wolf, by 55 votes. Kenyi became Pa Kettle's vice-mayor.
Frida, a female chihuahua, was mayor of San Francisco for one day in 2014.
Frida, a female Chihuahua, in the arms of her owner, Dean Clark.
Stephen Lam / Reuters
Frida became the most powerful dog in San Francisco in 2014. Her owner Dean Clark won the honor, when he placed the highest bid at a charity gala for the city's department of animal care and control. According to KPIX 5, once in power, Frida called for mandatory belly rubs.
—Artemis Pet Food (@theArtemisPet) November 19, 2014
Gus Hall was elected as mayor of Coronado, California, in 2018.
Mayor Gus Hall.
Coronado Canine Mayor Gus
More than 20,000 votes were cast, and Gus Hall secured just over half of them.
Coincidence or not, the mayor shares his name with a famous American communist who led the communist party and ran for president as leader four times.
Parker the Snow Dog was sworn in as the honorary mayor of Georgetown, Colorado, on February 11.
(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
—Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) February 20, 2020
In the most recent political canine victory, Parker the Snow Dog was unanimously elected as the mayor of Georgetown, Colorado.
But this isn't the first time the loveable leader has been in the spotlight. Parker is also the official mascot of Loveland Ski Area, and his long list of friends include members of the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and news personalities across the country.
As his first order of duty, Parker has committed to bringing postivie pawlitics full of "hugs, love, and cookies to the people of Georgetown."
OTHER NOTABLE ANIMAL MAYORS: Stubbs, a cat, was mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 20 years.
Mayor Stubbs liked his catnip.
Mayor Stubbs on Facebook
Stubbs held his town with an iron paw. He was commended for never raising taxes. He could usually be found in his office in the town's general store, and every afternoon he drank his water from a wineglass with a dash of catnip.
He began to retreat from the public eye in 2015 as he got older. He died in 2017.
Lincoln, a Nubian goat, is mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont. He's the town's first mayor and was elected in 2019.
Mayor Lincoln the GOAT
Lincoln signed the paperwork to become mayor by dipping his hoof in ink and stomping upon the paper. The vote was part of a plan to raise money for a school playground.
—Rep. Peter Welch (@PeterWelch) March 7, 2019
Clay Henry IV, also a goat, is mayor of Lajitas, Texas. He's the fourth generation to hold office.
Clay Henry the first in 2006.
Matt Slocum / AP
Clay, like his forebears, likes to drink beer. The family dynasty started back in the 1980s when a man from Houston decided to run for mayor and an outraged local businessman decided to challenge him with a goat. He lost, but in the next election, Clay Henry I won. Since then every Clay Henry has been elected.
In August 2019, Pax the Goat was named the first pet mayor of Edgewater, a neighborhood in Chicago.
—Block Club Chicago (@BlockClubCHI) August 5, 2019
Despite facing some tough competition from four dogs and a cat, Pax the Goat took home the first political pet victory in Edgewater, Chicago.
But Pax wasn't always at the top of the race. In fact, as the animals campaigned across the neighborhood, Pax once found himself at the bottom of the barrel. His comeback was a story of triumph, but Pax remained supportive of his opponents.
In his first act as mayor, Pax named each of his competitors as members of his cabinet.
And since taking office, the diplomatic goat has been campaigning to raise money for a flooded dog park— even though his furry friends often annoy him.
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