Who wouldn’t vote for a Polish rooster named “Dr. Strange Love” if he were running for surgeon general of Benton City?
How about a praying mantis for city clerk? Or a hawk for code enforcement officer?
Or a donkey — or two — for mayor?
The Benton City Economic Development Council’s revitalization committee is running a quirky pet election on Facebook with a serious aim: Raise money to sterilize and immunize the feral cats overrunning portions of the city.
It’s all in good fun, said Benton City Mayor Linda Lehman, whose position drew two donkey candidates, a dog named “Moose” and other critters.
“I’ve got two jackasses running for my position. And I’m very happy about it,” said Lehman, who was selected mayor in January.
I know all the best words.
Elly May, donkey running for clerk of Benton City
Local pet owners nominated their pets for a variety of real and made-up offices. There is a beer-sipping cat running for liquor control board, a horse who wants to be the city’s “ag inspector” and a hamster gunning for Pos. 1 on the city council.
Voters pay $1 to cast votes. Proceeds will pay to sterilize up to 50 feral cats in a bid to reduce the number of unwanted kittens. Check out the election at bit.ly/BEPetElection. To vote, click on “shop now” at the top.
Lehman hopes to raise $1,500. Benton City’s Prevent Homeless Pets Clinic charges $30 to sterilize and immunize cats.
“They’re a wonderful addition to the city,” she said.
Winners will be announced July 15 and their photos will hang in city hall alongside their human counterparts.
The contest will feature prominently in Benton City’s July 4 parade. Contestants, or their pictures, will walk alongside Benton City’s official leaders.
The tongue-in-cheek campaign is heavily inspired by rhetoric from the 2016 presidential campaign.
Dr. Strange Love, the Polish rooster running for surgeon general, writes, “I have a lot to crow about! I have scratched and pecked my way to the top of the roost! Feel The Bird!!”
Or Jethro, one of the donkeys running for mayor: “Some have said I am a ‘low energy’ candidate, but I promise not to make an ‘ass’ out of myself,” he pledged.
Or Elly May, a donkey running for city clerk. “I know all the best words,” she boasts.
I have a lot to crow about.
Dr. Strange Love, running for surgeon general of Benton City
In all seriousness, the mayor said feral cats are a growing problem for some neighborhoods in Benton City. Residents regularly complain about the number of loose cats as well as nighttime fights and yowling. The feral animals attack pets as well.
She said the election has raised enough money to treat about 20 animals so far.
“The more the merrier. We’ve got a lot of them,” she said.
Adult cats are sterilized, vaccinated and have their ears clipped before being released. Kittens are treated, then sent to animal welfare agencies in Seattle for adoption.