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9 Animals Who Ran for Political Office

Sometimes elected officials might act like animals, but many thought these actual four-legged creatures would make great leaders.

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Cat with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Morris for Mayor of Xalapa

Mexican voters frustrated with rats in politics turned to another option in 2013: a black-and-white feline named Morris. Nominated for mayor of Xalapa by two students as a joke, the cat attracted nearly 150,000 likes on Facebook and more than 7,500 votes on Election Day. Although Morris wasn’t allowed on the ballot, his owners argued the cat would make a perfect politician: he sleeps and does nothing all day.

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Cat with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Stubbs for Mayor of Talkeetna

One Alaskan cat managed to claw all the way to the top of his town’s politics. For 16 years, Stubbs, an orange manx, has served as honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska. According to locals, the town’s 900 residents elected Stubbs as a write-in candidate after rejecting the human contenders. Talkeetna residents say Stubbs is the best mayor in the town’s history and praise his laissez-faire business practices.

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Rhinoceros with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Cacareco for City Council of São Paulo

In 1959, a Brazilian rhinoceros named Cacareco (meaning garbage) beat out more than 500 city council candidates with 100,000 votes. São Paulo students submitted Cacareco’s name on the ballot as a joke, but the five-year-old rhinoceros became a symbol of residents’ political frustrations. A decade later, Cacareco inspired another political movement: the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. The satire political party argues rhinos make the perfect politicians because they are “thick-skinned, slow-moving and not too bright, but can move fast as hell when in danger.” Learn some more amazing stories of animals acting like humans.

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Dog with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Lucy Lou for Mayor of Rabbit Hash

The residents of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, don’t mind if their politicians are dogs. In fact, their current mayor, Lucy Lou, is the town’s third canine politician. The red and white border collie won against several dogs, a cats, an opossum, and a human in 2008. Her duties are simple: supporting fundraising events and greeting visitors. In addition, in 2011, Lucy Lou helped accept a $1,000 “stimulus check” from Reader’s Digest‘s “We Hear You America” campaign. Check out these incredible “superpowers” that dogs have.

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Goat with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Clay Henry for Mayor of Lejitas

Not many can make the transition from entertainment to politics, but one goat named Clay Henry easily transformed from a beer-drinking mascot to beer-drinking mayor. Residents of Lejitas, Texas, elected Clay Henry in the 1980s after a Houston businessman became mayor of the small West Texas town. Clay Henry’s owner told the New York Times, “I decided that if somebody from Houston can be mayor of Lajitas, then why not my goat?” Today, Clay Henry’s grandson, Clay Henry III, serves as honorary mayor and also enjoys a beer now and again. Check out our favorite funny political quotes of all time.

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Pig with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Pigasus for President of the United States

Politics are tough for pigs, as Pigasus found out in the 1968 presidential election. Nominated by the Youth International Party (Yippies) to protest the Vietnam War, police arrested Pigasus and seven of his human supporters at a rally to announce Pigasus’ candidacy. Police told the Yippies that Pigasus squealed on them. While the humans posted bail, Pigasus was never heard from again. Learn about some more trailblazing animals that changed history.

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Horse with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Incitatus for Consule of Rome

The favorite horse of the insane Roman emperor Caligula, Incitatus lived in a marble stall, ate oats mixed with gold, and served on the Roman consul, according to ancient historian Suetonius. But modern historians say Suetonius exaggerated and Caligula’s insanity might just be political genius. By nominating Incitatus, the ancient Roman emperor showed that even animals could serve on the consul. Next, learn the truth about these animal “facts” that you have all wrong.

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Goat with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Ioiô for City Councilor

Before Clay Henry, there actually was a goat on the ballots in the 1920s. The people of Fortaleza, Brazil declared that a resident goat named Ioiô was more qualified to run for office than any of the human candidates that year. Although the goat wasn’t formally listed on the ballots as a candidate, many voters wrote his name in. Unfortunately, the goat was not declared winner. Ioiô passed away in 1931, but his body was preserved and stands proudly in the Museum of Ceará. Humans: don’t be ashamed if you have these common political questions.

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Gorilla with campaign, Getty Images (3)

Colossus for President

As publicity for Benson’s Wild Animal Farm in Hudson, New Hampshire, a 500-pound silverback gorilla named Colossus was listed as a presidential candidate for the Vegetarian Part in the New Hampshire primary election. A local chimpanzee served as the gorilla’s campaign manager and went to the secretary of state’s office to handle all the paperwork. He never made it to the White House, but his owner argued that his nomination was valid since he met the age requirement and was born in the United States. Next, check out these bizarre facts about America’s earliest elections.


  • Latinos Post: “‘Candigato Morris’ Mayor In Mexico: 7,500 Mexicans Vote For A Cat Morris To Be The Next Mayor Of Xalapa”
  • Daily News: “Cat has been mayor of Alaska town for 15 years”
  • The New York Times“No One Shot the Sheriff, but Someone Cut the Mayor, a Goat. Got It?”
  • History: “Did Caligula really make his horse a consul?”
  • Mental Floss: “14 Animals Who Ran for Office”

Emma Taubenfeld
Emma Taubenfeld is an assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who focuses on digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pick-up lines, and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists, and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.