Governments' Lighter Side

Candidate vies to become the top cat (with related video)

Feline challenger enters the Senate race in Virginia

The U.S. Senate race in Virginia is heating up with the emergence of a new candidate to challenge former governors Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine. The new contender doesn’t make speeches, just purrs. That’s because he’s a cat – really, a cat, like with fur and whiskers, except he dons a tie for campaign photos.

According to the Washington Post, Hank, a cat from Springfield, Va., is running on a theme of job creation. Hank’s owner, Anthony Roberts, says he and his partner mounted the feline campaign as a joke to mock the political status quo.

But Hank’s faux campaign has taken off. Logging onto the campaign website, “Hank for Senate,” can be difficult. There was so much traffic on the site that it crashed recently. More than 4,000 people checked “Like” on the campaign Facebook page.

The website includes the usual campaign features. There’s a call for volunteers, “Be a Hank’s Helper,” and money, “Give a Handout to Hank.” The obligatory campaign commercial says a vote for Hank will ensure that America remains “the greatest land of all.” If you send in a photo of your Hank For Senate campaign sign, you get a free t-shirt “while supplies last.”

Hank’s bio says he was “born to a single mother living on the streets,” but put himself through school and rose to “start and run a number of successful local companies.” The candidate “knows what it’s like to have very little,” and “knows that the key to a better America and a brighter future is the creation of jobs,” according to the bio.

Hank’s campaign has apparently attracted attention from one of his competitors. A Twitter message from the camp of George Allen welcomes Hank to the race and includes a photo of Allen with “our campaign’s cat coalition co-chair Cisco.” 

Watch Hank’s first campaign video below:

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It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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