FAIRHOPE, Ala. – One of the candidates in the race to become Fairhope’s next mayor is considerably more hairy than the rest. He also has twice as many legs and a constantly wagging tail. Wille Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane is a 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever whose owner has taken a satirical poke at politics by launching the pooch into the race.
If elected Willie Bean will not be the nation’s first canine mayor, nor its first Labrador one.
In 2004, Rabbit Hash, Ky., elected Junior Cochran, a black Lab, as mayor. It was the second canine elected to lead the small Northern Kentucky town, according to the town’s Web site. The first was a mutt named Goofy Borneman, according to Laurie Lamblin, a resident and employee of the town’s historic general store.
A moment of silence is in order.
Mayor Cochran (“Mayor Junior” to his many friends) died two months ago.
During his time in office the mayor served as mascot for the Northern Kentucky Women’s Crisis Center’s pet protection program, helped raise money at benefits by manning kissing booths, was the subject of a 2006 TV special on Animal Planet, and in 2004 he helped dedicate an Underground Railroad Memorial in the town. I’ve known mayors who’ve done far less.
All water dishes will remain half-filled during the official period of mourning.
BTW, in 1986 Lajitas, Texas, elected Clay Henry, a beer-drinking goat, as mayor. Boston also had a beer drinking goat as mayor at the time, his name was Ray Flynn. Wait. He wasn’t a goat.
Excuse me, I do believe I may be moving to Rabbit Hash.