The small town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, gives “special election” a whole new meaning. Back in 1998, local legend Don Clare declared his dog Goofy as the town’s first mayor in the hopes it would bring positive press to the historic spot. He must have been onto something, because here we are 22 years later about to celebrate yet another four-legged mayor taking charge.
At six months old, Wilbur the French Bulldog will become one of Rabbit Hash’s youngest mayors. It’s a lot of responsibility for such a young pup, but he’s ready for the challenge and, as his campaign slogan affirms, “He’s all ears.”
Wilbur’s campaign manager, Amy Noland (who also happens to be his mom), worked tirelessly to ensure the purebred Frenchy won the time-honored “paw-sition,” hosting rallies through social media, distributing “Wilbur Wear” t-shirts, and canvassing for votes.
"Campaigning was fun, but there was ruff competition for sure! Due to Covid 19, we did most of the campaigning through social media. We used a couple of different platforms and worked day and night replying to posts and making them,” said Noland.
All the hard work paid off when the votes were tallied and Wilbur won by a landslide. The “fur-midable” Frenchy scored the highest number of votes any candidate has ever received, a massive 13,143 (almost as many as Kanye). Voters contributed $1 for each ballot cast, raising a total of $22,500 in this election. The donations will go toward preserving the historic buildings around town.
Ballots were submitted online and in person at the town’s most recognizable landmark, Rabbit Hash General Store, which has been in operation since 1831 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
What’s next for Rabbit Hash’s mayor-elect? Well, first is the small matter of the black-tie “in-doguration” in January, when he officially takes over from the incumbent, Brynneth Pawltro, a pit bull who will graciously pass over the leash.
Then, it’s onto serious business like raising money for the Rabbit Hash Historical Society and awareness surrounding human health issues. All in a day’s work for the world’s furriest mayor.
Wilbur’s campaign prepared this statement for his fans and constituents:
"Thank you for the vote of confidence from local supporters and people all over the world. It’s an exciting adventure and a deeply meaningful cause to preserve the river hamlet town of Rabbit Hash. The town welcomes visitors and will continue to provide fun events for all ages to come experience the nostalgia and charm we have to offer. Stay tuned for Wilbur’s appearance dates, and contact him any time using social media. He’s 'ALL ears.'”