Governments' Lighter Side

Dog gets elected to be township's mayor for third term

Every dog has its day, and for Duke, this day was momentous.

The 9-year-old Great Pyrenees recently won his reelection bid for the position of honorary mayor of 1,039-person Cormorant Township, according to Minnesota Public Radio and the U.S. Census Bureau. This marks his third one-year term as honorary mayor.

What's more, Duke won in a landslide.

"Everybody voted for Duke, except for one vote for his girlfriend, Lassie," David Rick, Duke's owner, told Fargo TV station WDAY.

Duke won his first term as mayor during the Cormorant Daze festival in 2014, according to the Kansas City Star. Voters paid $1 to cast a vote, and Duke's won based on write-in campagin. Even his opponent, local store owner RIchard Sherbrook, voted for Duke.

“There’s no question that he’ll do a good job representing the community,” Sherbrook told ABC News in 2014.

While it's a 'ruff' job, Duke's popularity in Cormorant seems to be cemented now.

"I don't know who would run against him, because he's done such great things for the community," Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told WDAY.  

Other animals have held honorary mayoral offices in the U.S. A cat named Stubbs is the honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska and Clay Henry III, a goat, was a former mayor of Lajitas, Texas, according to the Wall Street Journal and the Lajitas Resort & Spa. 

At Duke's inauguration ceremony, Cormorant Township Chairman Steve Sorenson told Duke he was "about to embark upon a great time of service, and tremendous personal and professional growth," according to My9NJ.com. Sorenson then asked Duke to bark or pant if he accepted those responsibilities.

Duke resoundingly panted. Needless to say, Cormorant residents can expect Duke to work like a dog.

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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

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

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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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