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Pets set to stump for Mayor of Whidbey competition
To them, a bailout is an unexpected opening in the fence and a Tea Party sounds a lot like an opportunity to score a treat under the table.
But although they don’t really understand human political fervor, furry friends across Whidbey Island have thrown their collars into a race that strives to give kids in Island County the support they need.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County is searching for the next pet Mayor of Whidbey. The mentoring agency, which matches children with mentors in the community, is bringing back the mayoral campaign as a fundraiser and fun way to teach Little Brothers and Little Sisters about politics in an election year, said Peggy Dyer, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County.
The race last year ended in a tie between a cat and a dog.
“Last year’s co-mayors George the Cat and Jack the Dog were outstanding elected officials — making us at BBBS and their constituents proud,” Dyer said.
“United they stood to make sure that all kids on Island County get the love and support they deserve. By voting for your favorite candidate for the Mayor of Whidbey, you make sure more children will get a Big Brother or Big Sister who shows them love and support.”
“There is no magic amount that will assure a win,” added BBBS South End site director Michaela Marx Wheatley.
“Last year’s winners went head to head until we called the election a tie late at night. Jack and George were very loved by their humans and the community and they kept bringing in votes till the last minute,” she said. “Bottom line is that each vote/dollar raised helps Big Brothers Big Sisters continue its mission to help kids in need — and there are many these days.”
This year’s candidates come from diverse backgrounds and species, but it’s anybody’s guess who will take the office. Here’s a look at the field.
Brett Boon is a 7-year-old smooth collie who sometimes works as a four-legged therapist at the children’s hospital pulling a cart to make kids happy. Brett’s a natural entertainer and among his repertoire of tricks are the paw shake, the roll over and, his favorite, the crawl, which he will do for his favorite treat of all time, pizza crust.
Cujo is a 4-year-old tuxedo cat, who happens to have his own blog titled “Cujo Cat Chronicles.” Cujo is also a published author, who believes in anarchy, chaos, mayhem and the servitude of squirrels. Though he considers himself somewhat of a benevolent dictator, he is willing to accept the democratic elected position of Mayor of Whidbey. If Cujo had a campaign bumper sticker it would read: “Resistance is futile!”
For the first time in the history of this election (it’s the second annual) there is a two-legged candidate.
Murdock is a peacock of some renown who lives on a farm with Big Brothers Big Sisters match coordinator Carrie Riepma. He believes that all feathers are created equal, though he shows superior elegance to his opponents when strutting on the farm. Murdock enjoys disco music, which, he admits inspires his elegant movements. He also likes snacking on seeds very much.
Pepsi is a little black dog of exceptional cuteness. In fact, Pepsi is bringing a new level of “cute” back to Whidbey Island. Pepsi’s platform is one of collaboration, friendliness and fluffiness. Oh, and Pepsi also loves shoes.
Next on the list is Sadi Mae the wiener dog. Sadie Mae is all about licks and kisses when it comes to “Little Brother” Charles Liberty.
To keep her campaign spirits high and to maintain her lean figure, Sadie stretches routinely by dragging her back legs behind her. She also likes to play with squeaky toys quite often.
Another of the canine candidates is Tristan Joiner, a three-legged pup. Less is more and three is better than four, says Tristan.
Tristan is extremely loyal, friendly, steadfast and reliable — characteristics to make a top notch mayor. He loves fresh fish and trips to the beach, and curling up on the back porch with his brother Rocky for an afternoon nap. Tristan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in January and had his left foreleg amputated in February. But that didn’t slow him down at all and he’s doing just fine, as Tristan is a fighter and never quits.
Biscuit is a 13-year-old yellow Lab and loyal friend to his owner. Although he’s been diagnosed with cancer, he is sure he can serve his term as Mayor of Whidbey to his fullest potential. Biscuit has no skeletons in his closet — he’s eaten them all. His leadership is characterized by honesty, loyalty and integrity and he only does his business locally.
The final four-legged candidate is Ziggy Jones, a corgi, who wants to lick Whidbey into shape. Ziggy agrees with Sadie Mae that squeaky toys are especially fun to play with. He also likes people so much that he will sometimes take off their socks so that they will stick around longer to play.
See all of the candidates’ platforms and profiles at www.bbbsislandcounty.org.
Dyer is pleased with the field.
“These guys embody exactly what everybody wants in a politician: loyalty, strength and determination. In addition, they are cute and cuddly and debate much less than most politicians,” Dyer said.
Wheatley said the field looks prepared to handle the pressures of the office.
“The duties of the Mayor of Whidbey are simple,” Wheatley said. “Continue to be cute and cuddly and represent Big Brothers Big Sisters well.”
Wheatley said she would love to see the future mayor walk in a parade with Bigs and Littles or perhaps make an appearance at a Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser.
“But it would be also OK if the mayor could just wag his tail, purr or squeak in support of all our great Bigs and Littles,” she added.
It’s not too late for other four-legged or feathered friends who would like to go into politics for the benefit of children to enter the race. People may nominate pets on the BBBS website, www.bbbsislandcounty.org, for a $10 fee.
Little Brothers and Sisters can nominate their pet for free. Their Big may want to participate as their campaign manager.
Votes are cast by making a $1 donation to the candidate of your choice. Voting can be done on the BBBS website, at any BBBS office or by donating to the candidate directly. Vote as many times as you wish, for as many candidates as you wish.
Voting ends Tuesday, Nov. 1, and the winning candidate will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 8 and may make a special appearance at the Festival of Trees auction.