Not many people were considering the small town of Fair Haven, Vermont when they went to the polls on Super Tuesday. Those who did go to vote in that small town let their voices be heard by electing a therapy dog as their new mayor.
Although the election in Fair Haven was tight, Murfee, a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was the clear winner. He managed to edge out the other 17 animals on the ballot, including a three-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln.
The tradition of electing an animal as mayor in Fair Haven got started last year. It is an honorary pet mayoral position that the town uses to help raise money to replace the playground equipment at the elementary school. That equipment is now over two decades old.
Any pet owner can enter their animal in the race by paying a five-dollar registration fee.
“At a time when politics can be contentious, the mayoral race in Fair Haven brings the community together for a common cause,” Fair Haven Town Manager, Joe Gunter, told CNN. “It’s also a great way to teach our kids about civics and how important it is to vote in our local elections.”
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There were 664 people who voted that day and 300 were elementary school children, according to Gunter.
Murfee was able to win the race with 146 votes. Lincoln, the Nubian goat had 121 votes and a six-year-old German shepherd rescue named Sammy, who is also the police department’s K-9 dog, had 117 votes.
Last year, Lincoln won the position of honorary mayor with only a three-vote lead.
Murfee will now begin his job as the face for the fundraising campaign and will appear at town events. He is likely to have a very busy year. Not only does he have his mayor duties, but he is also a therapy dog that visits schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. He is part of the group at the Caring Canines Therapy Dogs of Southern Vermont.
“I was excited. I think Murfee has proven he can raise money for the playground fund since he raised $570 with his bake sale,” Murfee’s owner, Linda Barker, told CNN.
She said his reaction to winning the election was: “Does this mean I get extra treats?”
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