In a country divided on just about everything, there’s one issue with the potential to unify our nation: getting more pets into politics.
On April 24, Jinx, the big-eyed black cat with over 435,000 Instagram followers, was the first pet mayor of Hell, Michigan, a town outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan that offers a “Mayor of the Day” package for $100. It’s the first time the small town had a non-human ruler, and for the sake of adorable internet content we hope it won’t be the last. Although Jinx has not yet delivered their list of executive orders, we’re anticipating them to focus on increased access to sardines, feline maternal health, and a long-awaited laser pointer ban.
Let’s take a look at some of the other animal leaders who have ruled our nation with a benevolent iron paw.
Max I & Max II: Mayors of Idyllwild
As a non-incorporated town, Idyllwild, California was politician-free until 2012 when a local animal rescue sponsored their first-ever election in 2012. Golden Retriever Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller won in a landslide that raised $31,000 for Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) and catapulted him to local fame. Max’s approval rating was so high that he was invited to stay on for a second term in office, which was carried out by his successor Max II, following Max I’s death on April 2, 2013.
Max II remains in office to this day with his trusted deputy mayors, Mikey and Mitzi by his side. He can be found greeting Pacific Coast Trail hikers, advocating for dog adoption, and promoting local tourism. Mayor Max even has merch.
Duke: Mayor of Cormorant Village
Great Pyranees Duke was elected as the ceremonial mayor of Cormorant Village, Michigan in 2014 and was so popular that he received every single vote but one in his 2016 reelection campaign for a third term. While mayor, this fluffy polar bear acted as an ambassador for the small town, hanging around the local pub and making sure no shenanigans occurred on his watch. Duke retired from office in 2018 to focus on his health and passed away in early 2019 at the age of 13. He will forever be remembered for his local activism and tiny hat.
Stubbs: Mayor of Talkeetna
The mayor of Talkeetna, a small town in Alaska, enjoyed a 19-year reign of power that most politicians would dream of. Stubbs, a strawberry blond cat, won the position in a write in campaign when the 900-person town deemed none of the human candidates suitable to run in their 1997 mayoral election. He held onto the position until his death in 2016 at the age of 20. During his time in office, Stubbs worked to keep taxes down and spent most of his time demanding attention from his post at the general store. His legacy is carried on by his brother, Denali.
Lincoln: Mayor of Fair Haven
Dogs and cats aren’t the only animals to run for office. Three-year-old Nubian goat Lincoln served a one-year term as the Mayor of Fair Haven, Vermont after beating out 16 other candidates for the job on a 2019 ballot. While in office, Lincoln attended local events, marched in the Memorial Day parade, and welcomed visitors to the town. Lincoln was succeeded in 2020 by Murfee, a King Cavalier Charles Spaniel, who served for two years before being defeated this past march by another goat, Elsa, who now holds the office. Lincoln is a goat—and the GOAT, if you will.
Lucy Lou: Mayor of Rabbit Hash
Border collie Lucy Lou joined the ranks of feminist icons when she became the first female mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky in 2008. With a slogan like “The Bitch You Can Count On,” it’s no surprise she beat out the other candidates. During her eight-year term, Lucy served as a spokeswoman for a woman’s crisis center, greeted visitors, and promoted local events in Rabbit Hash. Lucy stepped down in 2016 to raise funds to rebuild the town’s historic general store, and passed away in 2018 at the age of 12. The fight for women’s rights is carried on by successor and fellow-collie, Lady Stone.
Parker: Mayor of Georgetown
5-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog Parker is loving life as the honorary mayor of Georgetown, Colorado, where he’s been in office since 2020. According to his website, Parker is “committed to bringing hugs, love, and cookies to the people of Georgetown,” which is a campaign promise we can get on board with. Parker the Snow Dog is the official mascot of Loveland Ski Area where he hangs with local sports teams, spends time with the disabled community, and gives out hugs around town. Being a local ambassador certainly comes with perks!
Sweet Tart: Mayor of Omena
The 300-person town of Omena, Michigan held local council elections in 2018 with one caveat; the candidates had to be animals. Enter Sweet Tart, a Norwegian Forest Cat who served honorably as the town’s first feline mayor until 2021, when she was unseated by local dog Rosie Disch. Sweet Tart still acts as Second Vice Mayor, adding to her impressive resume that includes several advanced degrees. Despite rarely appearing in public, Sweet Tart is known for her fabulous fashion sense and enviable hat collection.