Meet the underdog of Kansas’ gubernatorial race: Angus, a 3-year-old wire-haired Vizsla who is literally a dog.
Terran Woolley, a dental hygienist who lives in Newtown, Kansas, is running the campaign for Angus and filed the official paperwork last Saturday. He told the Hutchinson News that he got the idea because a lot of teenagers were running for the state’s highest office.
“I thought, ‘Hey, why not Angus? He’s a good dog, he’s smart. And I think he could provide better leadership than what we’ve had the last seven years in our state,’ ” Woolley said.
Unfortunately for Angus, Kansas’ Office of the Secretary of State has already forbidden dogs, no matter how good, from sitting as governor. Although there's no official law on the books outlawing canine gubernatorial candidates, the secretary of state reasoned that a dog would be unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the state’s chief executive. It’s unclear if these newly defined state gubernatorial restrictions apply to other animals.
But there are plenty of other examples of non-humans running for office. Perhaps most famously, the late Stubbs (a cat who died at age 20 last summer) served as honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, until his death; a pseudo-political party nominated a pig named Pigasus the Immortal for president of the United of the States in 1968 to run against Richard Nixon; and Dustin the Turkey, a puppet, received thousands of votes in Ireland’s 1997 election.
It’s unclear how much of this is a joke — Woolley offered such zingers as his dog’s platform being “anti-squirrel” — but Angus’ leadership style seems similar to Donald Trump’s in at least one way: Both show a predilection for hiring members of their own households to run their administrations. Woolley said Babe, another dog dog, and Max, the house’s cat, would get positions in Angus’ Cabinet if he were elected.
Even without a dog candidate, Kansas’ gubernatorial race is, for lack of a better term, a complete wreck: at least six teenage boys have already thrown their hats into the ring. State Sen. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, was the first woman to enter the fray back in December, and is currently facing around 20 opponents. Kansas has no age restrictions for candidates running for office, but after the slew of teen boys entered the race, a Republican state legislator introduced a bill that would require future candidates be at least 18 years old.
Jeff Colyer, a Republican human adult, is Kansas’ current outgoing governor.