ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Corrales is looking to elect a new mayor, and this may be the first time in the history of the village’s mayoral elections that buying votes is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
The Kiwanis Club of Corrales will be holding a fundraising campaign to elect the village’s first “pet mayor.” The money will help cover the costs of the Corrales Harvest Festival in September and be given as grants to local nonprofit organizations.
Election organizer Caryl Trotter will accept nominations July 4th until July 31st. From the nominations, she will chose the 12 strongest candidates – a group made up of a variety of animals and those with strong campaign support.
The election starts Aug. 14 and runs for six weeks, until Sept. 18. Each vote cast will cost $1. While individuals can cast ballots, local businesses can also throw their financial support behind a candidate, with each dollar donated counting as a vote.
Current Mayor Phil Gasteyer said he’s not threatened by the idea of sharing his duties.
“There are some jobs I do as mayor that any animal could do,” he said in a phone interview from home Wednesday.
And he has already decided who he will back.
“My friend Sally has a donkey, Emma, that I’m going to support,” he said. “In other words, I’m going to support a jackass for mayor.”
No word whether Emma is a Democrat.
Trotter is the brains behind the election. She was on vacation and visited a local farmers market, where they were parading animals and encouraging people to elect them mayor. She learned the election was a fundraiser and decided to try the idea in Corrales. She contacted a village in California that has been holding a pet mayor election for years and found out it has become quite popular. She said she’s hoping the same thing will happen in Corrales.
“It gets pretty competitive there,” she said. “Candidates have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Businesses compete to make sure their candidate wins. I hope to generate the same interest here.”
Equines, Canines, Felines To CampaignCorrales Kiwanis To Use Pet Election as FundraiserGASTEYER: Mayor will support a donkeySee ELECTION on PAGE C2Election To Pit Pets Against Each Otherfrom PAGE C1″It gets pretty competitive there. Candidates have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.” CARYL TROTTER, ELECTION ORGANIZER FOR PET MAYOR
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal
Photo Credit – CREDIT LINE
Cutline – GASTEYER: Mayor will support a donkey