For the past four years, the small town of Cormorant, Minnesota, had the rather rare, if not completely unique, distinction of having a different kind of mayor — one that wasn’t even 10-years-old at the time of election, and one that wasn’t even human. Since 2014, a dog named Duke had served as the town’s mayor, but now that he’s up there in dog years, it looks like he won’t be back for a second term.
As related in a report from ABC 7 Chicago, the Great Pyrenees dog named Duke had been ceremonial mayor of Cormorant for the past four years, and had since been present at many a parade and public event, all while “keeping up [the town’s] good name.” Now 13-years-old, Duke won’t be seeking reelection and will be returning to private canine citizen status. However, it also appears the dog, just like many a human mover and shaker in the world of politics, will have his own “tell-all” biography due in stores, one that relates how he taught Cormorant to “be chill, join in, and be kind.”
Before Duke steps down as mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, he will be feted in a celebratory parade to be held in August. He will also be spending the next few weeks watching over the town from Cormorant’s Main Street — his “favorite spot,” as described by ABC 7 Chicago.
According to a 2014 report from the Daily Mail, Duke was elected mayor of Cormorant by a “landslide,” having gotten “all but two or three” out of 12 possible votes. Prior to being sworn in, the large dog had been a local celebrity of sorts, a regular in the town pub, where he frequently consumed hamburgers and fries and was well known to the people of the small Minnesota town.
Following his victory as mayor, Duke was rewarded with a five-hour grooming session, with a year’s worth of free dog food from a nearby town’s pet food store serving as his “pay” for his mayoral duties.
While it may sound unusual for a town, even one as small as Cormorant, to be run by a dog as its ceremonial mayor, Duke is far from being the only animal to make a foray into the world of politics.
According to Mandatory, these included Hank, a cat that challenged former Democrat vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine when he ran for the Senate in 2012. About 15 years before that, Stubbs the cat became a favorite among locals in Talkeetna, Alaska, so much so that he was named the town’s honorary mayor. Sadly, Stubbs’ 20-year tenure in that post ended just recently, when he died in July, 2017, per a CNN report.