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 the 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). On some occasions, however, animals have been accepted as candidates, and have even won office.

Notable examples[edit]

A statue of Bosco the dog, former mayor of Sunol, California
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.[27] 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.[28]
  • 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?,[29] 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. Since Jindal's announcement, Crawfish has received media attention from outlets such as The Huffington Post,[30] Salon magazine,[31] Bustle,[32] and popular Louisiana-based publications NOLA Defender[33] and Gambit.[34] Crawfish officially registered with the Federal Election Commission, running for a non-listed party, on July 2, 2015.[35] Crawfish has stated his support of education, gender equality, same-sex marriage, and Game of Thrones, while criticizing the strict bi-partisan system.[36]
  • 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.[37] 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 the name Limberbutt McCubbins to the attention of all.[38] Limberbutt's candidacy has been endorsed by Jezebel.[38] Since the cat has been filed as a candidate, he has received coverage from major media outlets including NPR,[39] The Huffington Post,[40] Today,[41] and ABC News. Politifact rated the legitimacy of Limberbutt McCubbins' candidacy as "half true".[42] Weiss and McCubbins credit their involvement with the YMCA's Youth in Government programs for helping to encourage them to be politically active.[43] Limberbutt's first television interview had him showing his platforms in greater detail, through the interpreters, Weiss and McCubbins.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46]

Folklore and pop culture[edit]

The notion of animals being elected to office have often been the subject of parody and folklore. 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. Thomas Love Peacock's 1817 novel Melincourt featured an orangutan as a parliamentary candidate.

The Black Mirror episode "The Waldo Moment" explores the concept of a cartoon character electoral candidate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Boston Curtis." Time Magazine. Published 26 Sept. 1938. Accessed 11 January 2008.
  2. ^ Boston Curtis
  3. ^ Cacareco
  4. ^ Snopes: Political Podiatry
  5. ^ Garnick, Darren. "Hillary Cried Here: An Unconventional Tourist Guide to the N.H. Primary". Tourist Guide to the N.H. Primary. The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Vanderbilt Television News Archive
  7. ^ "Bay Area's First Canine Mayor Memorialized". NBC Bay Area (San Jose, California: NBCUniversal). 17 December 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Tuckman, Jo (19 June 2013). "Cat stands for election in Mexican city". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Strapagiel, Lauren (20 June 2013). "Morris the cat joins long legacy of cuddly politicians". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Tião's home page
  11. ^ Tião's 31st birthday, O Estado de S. Paulo, 1994-01-16
  12. ^ Rio Zoo completes 60 years, O Estado de S. Paulo, 2005-03-18
  13. ^ Yan, Holly (July 17, 2012). "Mayor of Alaska village walks on four paws". CNN. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ Plant candidate
  15. ^ Molly the dog
  16. ^ "A hen in the White House? Just the ticket - LA Daily News". Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  17. ^ Benjamin R. Freed (2012-11-09). "Hank the Cat Claws His Way to Third Place in Virginia Senate Race". DCist. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  18. ^ "Tuxedo Stan, cat, running for mayor of Halifax (video)". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Anderson Cooper endorses Tuxedo Stan for mayor". CTV News. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Fire Hydrant the Politician". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  21. ^ "Last Words: In which we nitpick the AMS elections". The Ubyssey. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  22. ^ "Duke The Dog Elected Mayor In Cormorant, Minn.". 
  23. ^ "Dog becomes mayor of Minnesota town". 
  24. ^ Duke the dog. Mayor of Cormorant MN
  25. ^ DukeTheDogMayor - DukeTheDogMayor Facebook page
  26. ^ Would-Be Mayor Gracious After Losing to Dog
  27. ^ Sutton, Scott (7 May 2015). "No laughing matter: Giggles the pig is running for mayor in Michigan". Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  28. ^ Steve Carmody (June 10, 2015). "Giggles the Pig no longer running for Flint mayor". Associated Press. 
  29. ^ "Can This Crawfish Get More Supporters Than Bobby Jindal?". Can This Crawfish Get More Supporters Than Bobby Jindal?. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  30. ^ "Louisiana Would Rather Vote for a (Mud)Bug Than Bobby Jindal". 7/1/2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ White Jr., Lamar (7/1/2015). "Bobby Jindal has no shame: This charlatan belongs nowhere near the White House". Salon. Retrieved 8 August 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  32. ^ Siese, April. "The Crawfish Aiming For More Supporters Than Bobby Jindal Is My New Best Friend". Bustle. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  33. ^ Leonard, Lucy. "CRAWFISH '16". NOLA Defender. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  34. ^ Woodward, Alex (July 8, 2015). "Get to know the crawfish running for president". Gambit. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "About Crawfish". Crawfish 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b Maddow, Rachel (May 8, 2015). "Transcript". The Rachel Maddow Show (NBC News). Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  39. ^ Lopez, Ashley (July 8, 2015). "For Limberbutt McCubbins, 'The Time Is Meow' To Run For President". NPR. 
  40. ^ Greenwood, Arin (July 9, 2015). "A Cat Named Limberbutt McCubbins Is Running For President! He's A Demo-Cat". Huffington Post. 
  41. ^ Stump, Scott (July 24, 2015). "Next Washington Fat Cat Limberbutt McCubbins Running for President". Today. 
  42. ^ Qiu, Linda (July 14, 2015). "Can a cat run for president?". 
  43. ^ Loosemore, Bailey (July 20, 2015). "Limberbutt 2016: Ky. cat running for president". The Courier-Journal. 
  44. ^ "Joe Arnold Asks Presidential Candidate Limberbutt McCubbins the Hard Hitting Questions". WHAS-TV. July 20, 2015. 
  45. ^ Arnold, Joe (July 20, 2015). "Demo-Cat Campaign for President Meows The Time". WHAS-TV. 
  46. ^ Kobola, Frank (July 9, 2015). "This Cat is Running for President". Cosmopolitan.