Therapy dog wins as the new honorary pet mayor in Fair Haven, Vermont, winning against the incumbent mayor goat by 25 votes.
Murfee, a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the eighteen animals to run for office, including the now former mayor, a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln.
The therapy dog won with 146 votes followed by Lincoln with 121, while a 6-year-old German shepherd rescue and Fair Haven Police Department’s K-9 dog, Sammy, came in third place with 117 votes.
The honorary pet mayoral election began when the town decided to use the position to help raise funds to upgrade playground equipment for the community’s elementary school.
In this small Vermont town’s election, even children could vote, and out of 664 people who went to the polls to vote, about 300 were elementary school children.
The tradition to have a four-legged animal as Fair Haven mayor has been going on for two years.
Any pet owner can enter their pet in the mayoral race for a $5 registration fee.
Fair Haven Town Manager Joe Gunter said in an interview, “At a time when politics can be contentious, the mayoral race in Fair Haven brings the community together for a common cause.”
“It’s also a great way to teach our kids about civics and how important it is to vote in our local elections.”
Last year, Lincoln won the mayor’s seat by just three votes.
Murfee, as the newly elected mayor, will be making appearances at town events as the new face of the town’s fundraising campaign.
He is a certified therapy dog who visits nursing homes, grade schools and hospitals together with other dogs from the Caring Canines Therapy Dogs of Southern Vermont.
Murfee’s owner Linda Barker believes that he has proven that he can perform his new job as the new mayor well, since he was able to raise $570 through his bake sale.