Since March 2019, the mayor of Fair Haven has been on the four-legged variety. Lincoln, a 3-year-old Nubian goat, is the current mayor.
Fair Haven has a city director, a position held by a human being. The honorary position of the mayor for pets began as a way to raise money to replace the community’s elementary school yard.
“It’s a $ 5 registration fee to race your pet,” city director Joe Gunter told CNN. “Any Fair Haven resident can cast a mayor vote. We ask for donations on election day, but they are not required to participate. Each small part brings us very close to our goal.”
The total goal? $ 80,000. That’s why Bill Humphries, chief of the city police, hopes that launching the name of K-9 Sammy in the race will raise more funds.
Challenge accepted. Lincoln, however, has a backup plan in case the 6-year-old German Shepherd rescue dog comes out on top.
“If Lincoln doesn’t win, he will pursue a career in goat yoga,” said Christopher Stanton, middle school teacher and goat owner. “He found this experience very rewarding.”
In 2019, Lincoln won the mayor’s seat with only three votes. This year, the race could go to dogs.
“It’s a tough race,” said Gunter. “Every candidate is in the running for every swinging vote he can get. To complicate matters is the third candidate who has just announced his candidacy. This is a real turning point for both major party candidates.”
Warming up the race is Murfee, a 3 year old cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is a certified therapy dog who visits nursing homes, the hospital and Fair Haven Elementary School, where he helped start a “reading with dogs” program.
“Murfee believes reading is very important, but he also believes that recreation outside of it is a necessity,” said Linda Barker, owner and manager of Murfee’s campaign. “If elected home mayor he will work hard to make sure Fair Haven kids get the best playground possible.”