Emily Welker, Published July 06 2013
Washington town elects pooch named Fargo honorary leader
With 2,307 votes, the Boston terrier won the mayoral seat in this city on Orcas Island, about 100 miles north of Seattle.
“Fargo will go far,” said Susan Anderson, the executive director of the Orcas Island Children’s House.
The Eastsound Mayoral Campaign, which funds the Orcas Island early childhood learning center, is an honorary race held each year since 2009.
It’s the largest fundraiser they do at the Children’s House, and the community doesn’t shy from electing unconventional candidates.
Two years ago, a cow won, Anderson said. This year, all five candidates were dogs.
Fargo’s owner, Kristin Mierau, wasn’t sure about entering the 2-year-old terrier when a client at her salon suggested he run for office.
“I said, ‘I don’t know. I think he’s too young,’ ” Mierau said. “Which is ridiculous, but so is a dog for mayor.”
Fargo’s campaign materials include magnets, posters and T-shirts.
“He’s got a website with an Andy Warhol thing going on,” said Anderson, adding that the pooch has prompted tourists visiting the island to send Fargo’s campaign swag to friends and family back in North Dakota.
Fargo was up against some tough competition from Jinjer, a female Beagle who garnered 2,101 votes in the competition that ended Saturday.
The three other dogs were tailing the two front-runners, including Winston, a shaggy fellow whose campaign has been dogged by scandal.
“Winston bit a kid at the school,” Mierau said.
Mierau settled on the name Fargo for the 12½-pound political heavyweight because the paternal side of her fiancé’s family hails from Fargo.
True to his moniker, Fargo is described as being diplomatic, hardworking – he gets in campaigning time at the farmers market every weekend – and fairly conservative.
At least when it comes to campaign attire, that is.
“I’m searching for the perfect bow tie” to wear for his victory, Mierau said Friday.
Fargo follows in a long line of distinguished non-human politicians, including Stubbs the Cat, who’s been mayor of a small Alaskan town for the last decade and a half. Morris the Cat, a feline in eastern Mexico, is currently in a fairly competitive race for mayor of his hometown, Xalapa.
But Fargo has what may be the ultimate in qualifications for a career in politics, canine or otherwise.
“He’s a good baby kisser,” said Mierau.
Readers can reach Forum reporter
Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541