Tress Turner
Willie Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane, the Labrador retriever running for mayor of Fairhope,

Dog Runs for Mayor in Alabama

July 30, 2008 01:45 PM
by Isabel Cowles
A seven-year-old yellow Labrador retriever is on the ballot to become mayor of Fairhope, Alabama. Its owner runs a coffee shop that had been politically neutral until now.

30-Second Summary

Willie Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane is a seven-year-old yellow Labrador retriever running for mayor of Fairhope, Alabama. Willie Bean was placed in the race by his owner, Tress Turner, who also runs a Fairhope coffee shop, The Coffee Loft.

According to the Associated Press, “The dog’s campaign began when a mayoral candidate placed a campaign sign on property that bordered the politically neutral coffee shop about three weeks ago.” Turner asked that the sign be removed, but the owner of the property allowed it to remain up for a few days.

Tired of getting “a hard time” from customers, Turner posted a sign on the door of The Coffee Loft saying that the shop did not endorse any candidate.

Then she changed her mind.

Turner transformed the Loft into a headquarters for Willie Bean: “It turned into just people laughing and joking and playing,” Turner said. “And I was, like, ‘You know what? We are going to let Willie Bean run for mayor.’”

Other animals have been used for satirical political purposes, including the current candidate for president, Molly the Dog, and the 1968 Yippie candidate, a pig named Pigasus the Immortal.

Even stranger candidates sometimes appear on the ballot: a Romanian town recently elected a dead mayor to keep his rival from taking office.

Headline Link: Willie Bean’s mayoral campaign

Related: Other unusual candidates

Political animals
A vote for the dead guy

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