In the dog-eat-dog world of politics, only one can rise to the top.Duke, a nine-year-old Great Pyrenees, has won his third term as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, in a landslide election thanks to the “highest approval ratings in the country”.Three years ago, Duke was a fluffy nobody.
But after 12 people paid $1 to cast their ballot – a fundraiser for an annual festival – Duke became the first honorary mayor of the township.
“Three years ago it happened by accident. It was a write-in vote. You pay a dollar and you can vote,” said David Rick, Duke’s owner, as reported by Christian News.The vote took place during the annual “Cormorant Daze” festival, where locals and visitors are served warm pancakes with maple syrup and can enjoy themselves at an amusement park or browse at a craft fair.
The dog has become a local celebrity, and has featured in publications like the National Geographic. He even has his own Facebook page.Karen Nelson of Cormorant, who said she was Duke’s “adoptive mother”, told The Independent that visitors often ask: “Where’s the mayor?” and want to give him treats and take photographs.
“His companion is my little black Chihuahua, Sparky – they go round together in David’s truck. It used to be like ‘Homeward Bound’ when I had my cat, Milo.”
Duke is normally busy on the farm, or hanging out at the Cormorant Pub opposite Ms Nelson’s house, she said.In his younger days, he used to run from the farm to the pub and greet the patrons. Now he more often hitches a ride.The mayor could not be immediately reached for comment.