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4 animals that ran for mayor (and won!)

Has the presidential race soured you on politics as usual? Next time you’re in the voting booth, consider casting your ballot for a nontraditional candidate. These towns did exactly that and are enjoying the benefits of a super hands-off – or more precisely, paws-off – government.

1. Stubbs — Talkeetna, Alaska

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This week, one elected official is celebrating his fifteenth year as mayor of the 900-person hamlet. It’s a long reign for any politician… especially one with a tail. The story has taken the Internet by storm: when a handful of residents didn’t like any of the human candidates, they encouraged voters to write in Stubbs the cat instead. As luck would have it, the feline won. Locals rationalized that having a cat as mayor would be a boon to tourism, and so they allowed the cat to assume his rightfully won position. Nowadays, the tabby spends most of his time palling around with constituents at a local general store, sleeping, and sniffing catnip from a wine glass. Who says you can’t have it all?

2. Bosco — Sunol, California

Bosco, a Labrador-Rottweiler mix, served 13 years as the mayor of Sunol. While his title as mayor of the small, unincorporated town was purely ceremonial, one Chinese newspaper took the canine compatriot a little too seriously. In 1989, communist publication The People’s Daily pointed to Bosco as proof that democratic elections don’t work. Rather than dismiss the comment, revolutionaries embraced the pup’s newfound symbolism. In the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests, Bosco was invited to participate in a pro-democracy rally outside of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, where participants dubbed him the face of democracy and freedom.

3. Henry Clay III — Lajitas, Texas

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The mayor of Lajitas, Texas, knows the best way to beat the heat on a scorching summer day: pop a few brewskis and chill out. The only problem? …

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