Non-human electoral candidates

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Non-human electoral candidates have been found in a number of countries. Often, the candidacies are a means of casting a protest vote or satirizing the political system. Other times it is simply done for entertainment value.

Electoral regulations may explicitly require candidates to be human (or equivalent wording), or may require candidates to do things which animals cannot reasonably do (such as sign their name legibly on a legal form); most constituencies require candidates to be of the age of a legal adult, which eliminates many animals whose life expectancy is usually too short to ever qualify. On some occasions, however, animals have been accepted as candidates, and have even won office.

Notable examples[edit]

Elected to office[edit]

A statue of Bosco the dog, former mayor of Sunol, California
Stubbs, former honorary "mayor" of Talkeetna, Alaska

Other examples[edit]

A statue of Macaco Tião, a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro
Dustin the Turkey, a puppet, received thousands of votes in Ireland's 1997 presidential election.

  • Giggles the Pig was set to run for mayor of Flint, Michigan in 2015.[30] Lawyer Michael Ewing started "Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor" as a write-in campaign after a city clerk's office error threatened to keep all candidates' names off the August, 2015 mayoral primary election. Ewing said the candidacy "sought to draw more attention to the mayoral race, better educate voters about their choices and encourage residents to demand more of elected officials." Giggles attracted many online fans, while the "other candidates for mayor were less amused." The write-in campaign was cancelled after state officials fixed the mistake and allowed four candidates' names to appear on the ballot, and the race had become "No longer an even playing field" for Giggles. Giggles' Facebook page was then to be used to share good news stories about Flint.[31]
  • Crawfish B. Crawfish is a crawfish from Louisiana. Crawfish's campaign for the United States presidency began on Facebook on a page titled "Can This Crawfish Get More Supporters Than Bobby Jindal?",[32] created on May 31, 2015. The campaign began to receive media attention after Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal announced his bid for the 2016 Presidential race. After Jindal's announcement, Crawfish received media attention from outlets such as The Huffington Post,[33] Salon magazine,[34] Bustle,[35] and popular Louisiana-based publications NOLA Defender[36] and Gambit.[37] Crawfish officially registered with the Federal Election Commission, running for a non-listed party, on July 2, 2015.[38] Crawfish has stated his support of education, gender equality, same-sex marriage, and Game of Thrones, while criticizing the strict bi-partisan system.[39]
  • 9Lives Cat Food mascot Morris the Cat ran for President in 1988, 1992, and 2012.
  • Harambe the gorilla was a candidate in the 2016 Presidential election.
  • Limberbutt McCubbins is a male cat from Kentucky who is officially registered with the Federal Election Commission as a Democratic candidate for the 2016 United States presidential election.[40] The idea to run Limberbutt as a candidate came from a high school senior named Isaac Weiss, and the cat belongs to his friend Emilee McCubbins. Limberbutt's campaign slogan is "Meow Is The Time". The cat may have stayed a local issue, had The Rachel Maddow Show not brought it widespread attention.[41] Limberbutt's candidacy has been endorsed by Jezebel.[42] Since the cat has been filed as a candidate, he has received coverage from major media outlets including NPR,[43] The Huffington Post,[44] Today,[45] and ABC News. Politifact rated the legitimacy of Limberbutt McCubbins' candidacy as "half true".[46] Weiss and McCubbins credit their involvement with the YMCA's Youth in Government programs for helping to encourage them to be politically active.[47] Limberbutt's first television interview had him showing his platforms in greater detail, through the interpreters, Weiss and McCubbins.[48] Weiss says that they want to work to reform the Federal Election Commission (FEC), stating that it only took "20 minutes" to fill out the forms, and that they did not even require a social security number.[49] The campaign has also rallied behind voter registration for all voters, with a focus on younger voters. Limberbutt 2016 signs and buttons are showing up all over the country as citizens rally behind this campaign for a variety of reasons. Cosmopolitan also cites the desire of Weiss to reform the FEC, but doubts that Hillary Clinton will engage with Limberbutt in the presidential debates.[50]
Comandante Chispas: "El Mero Mero"
  • In 2017, Comandante Chispas, a cocker spaniel born in Quito, announced he was running for President of Ecuador. In less than two weeks, his Facebook page obtained over 2,000 friends. His web site proposals ( are innovative and serious; they include a solution to the mystery of the 43 disappeared Mexican students and how to curtail the plague of disappearances taking place worldwide.[51]
  • In 2018, Penny Moffett, a one year old puppy, announced she was running for governor of Kansas after reading that there were no restrictions for candidacy.[52] Her platform includes increased funding for schools and clean energy initiatives. [53]

Folklore and pop culture[edit]

The notion of animals being elected to office has often been the subject of parody and folklore.

In 1817 Thomas Love Peacock's novel Melincourt featured an orangutan as a parliamentary candidate.

In 1951 cartoon Ballot Box Bunny, Bugs Bunny ran for the office of mayor against Yosemite Sam. Both lost to a "dark horse candidate": a mare.

In 1972, American singer Tom T. Hall had a hit with a recording entitled "The Monkey That Became President" which considered a scenario in which said animal was elected to office.

In 1976, Marvel Comics announced that their character Howard the Duck would run in that year's election for the U.S. presidency.[54]

The Black Mirror episode "The Waldo Moment" explores the concept of a cartoon character electoral candidate. Several news reports, including one by Chris Cillizza, political reporter for The Washington Post, compared the 2016 Donald Trump political campaign to the episode;[55][56] later, in September 2016, episode writer Charlie Brooker also compared the Trump campaign to The Waldo Moment and predicted Trump would win the 2016 election.[57][58]

The nerd-folk song "President Snakes" from the 2015 album of the same name by the music duo The Doubleclicks explores how five snakes run as one electoral candidate.[59][60][61][62][63][64]

Rita Mae Brown detective cat Mrs Murphy ran for President in "Sneakie Pie for President"

See also[edit]


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