U.S.

Dog Running for Seattle Mayor Campaigns On Anti-Vacuum Platform

Thor Michaelson with bowtie 2313
Seattle mayoral candidate Thor in a photo his campaign manager described as "very handsome." Mathew S. Browning, Real Change.

One of Seattle’s mayoral candidates supports more parks, larger portions in children's meals and a ban on vacuum cleaners because they are too efficient in picking up food that ends up on the floor.

The candidate, you see, is a dog.

Thor Michaelson is campaigning as a write-in candidate on the November 7 ballot, giving voters a third choice if they don't like leading human contenders Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon.

“He’s a very focused candidate, especially if you have a tennis ball in your hand,” Thor’s campaign manager, Tiffany Pitts, explained to Newsweek.

And that anti-vacuum cleaner plank? Apparently, it's flexible.

“He would support vacuums being used in the absence of any animals,” Pitts said. “He is running on a platform for every child to be fed as much food as possible so they drop it on the floor.”

Thor hasn’t been on the political scene for very long, but over the past year he developed a solid base of grassroots support and laid out detailed policy plans for Seattle. Providing additional funding for animal shelters is high on his agenda, and he has taken a firm stance against squirrels.

“Last year I couldn’t deal with the emotional component of politics, so I thought it would be funny to put up signs that say ‘Thor Says No to Vacuums,’” explained Pitts, describing Thor’s rise to stardom. “It had such a strong reaction, everyone in town wanted me to put up more signs so he could run.”

Not all Seattle residents are convinced—and the campaign trail is proving to be ruff on this pup.

Moon, for example, said Thor is “easily distracted” and beholden to special interests. The longtime civic leader even accused the canine of “rolling over for anyone with a check or a treat.”

Maria Garner, a Seattle-based dog walker, thinks Moon has a point.

“While this political pup seems to have kept his nose clean from political scandals, I have to agree with Cary Moon that he would be easily distracted by squirrels, cats and random trash lying on the ground,” Garner said. “How does he feel about keeping rent low and making housing affordable? That’s what I want to know.”

Thor’s campaign manager conceded that her candidate is “not too caught up on the housing market,” but he would like to see more parks.

When asked "who's a good boy?" Pitts confirmed that Thor is.

Thor would not be the first canine to win a U.S. mayoral race. A dog named Duke won three terms in the Minnesota town of Cormorant, and a 3-year-old Pitbull named Brynneth Pawltro beat a chicken and a donkey in the June mayoral election in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

Thor is accepting donations in the form of cookies, Pitts said, and he urges people to donate as many cookies as possible to local pups.