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Tualatin mayor's race faces 'ruff' challenger

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Buddy, a 6-year-old daschund, announced on Tuesday that he was running as a write-in candidate for Tualatin mayor.

A dog is running for mayor of Tualatin.

Yes, you read that correctly.

In an email statement released Tuesday, a 6-year-old dachshund named Buddy announced his candidacy for the mayor’s race in Tualatin.

Buddy hopes to challenge longtime Tualatin mayor Lou Ogden and candidate Jan Giunta in the Nov. 4 election.

But you won’t see Buddy’s name on any ballot. Unable to officially run due to the fact that he is, well, a dog, Buddy is running as a write-in candidate.

According to Amy Capka (who bills herself as Buddy’s “campaign manager”), Buddy’s run for public office is meant to put a smile on people’s faces.

“It’s fun,” Capka said. “We have some campaign buttons and signs that we will be putting up next week.”

Having a challenger in the field is also meant to educate people about Tualatin’s long stagnant political field, Caoka said.

“We are bringing awareness to Tualatin politics,” Capka said. “Lou Ogden has run unopposed for some time, and this year there actually is another woman running against him. We wanted to join in.”

Ogden has served as Tualatin’s mayor for 20 years. This is the first year Ogden has faced a challenger.

“We liked the idea of bringing awareness to Tualatin politics and the democratic process," Capka said. "When you have someone running unopposed for so long, it shouldn’t be that way.”

According to Capka, Buddy enjoys spending time in Bend, driving in the car and playing with his toys.

“Buddy has a playful side, too,” Capka said. “If elected, he will work on making dog treats available at all drive thru windows in the city and he’ll be spearheading a fire hydrant beautification project that will benefit all dogs in Tualatin.”

All campaign contributions will go to Oregon Dog Rescue, a non-profit dog shelter in Tualatin.

Dog Rescue spokeswoman Nancy Truax said that the nonprofit can’t officially endorse candidates or positions in the race, but said that it's hard to fault some of his pet-related policies.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Buddy, a 6-year-old daschund, announced on Tuesday that he was running as a write-in candidate for Tualatin mayor.“What I can tell you is that we do not have a bone to pick with Buddy’s stances on fire hydrant beautification, nor with his desire to have biscuits at every drive up window,” Truax said. “We are grateful for every dollar and volunteer hour. Whatever Buddy wants to contribute to ODR will be well received and greatly appreciated.”

Capka said that Buddy is also a strong proponent of Measure 91, which legalizes recreational marijuana in Oregon.

The would-be mayor is hosting a meet-and-greet at Tualatin Petsmart on Sunday, Sept. 7, after the dog rescue's 2014 Paws for a Cause dog walk and fundraiser, which begins at 1 p.m. The store is located at 7029 S.W. Nyberg St.

Buddy will also be at hosting the grand opening of a new Mary Jane House of Glass headshop in Tualatin on Sept. 20. The new shop is located at 17937 S.W.McEwan Road, in Tualatin, where he will be hosting town hall meetings every Tuesday afternoon.

Believe it or not, it’s not unprecedented for dogs to run for elected office. A dachshund named Stupid unsuccessfully ran for Gaston City Council in 2012 and a 7-year-old Great Pyrenees named Duke was elected honorary mayor of Cormorant, Minn., earlier this month.

Other notable four-legged mayors:

• 1981: Bosco, a Labrador-Rottweiler mix was elected mayor of Sunol, Calif. He served until his death in 1994

• 1986: Clay Henry, a goat famous for drinking beer, was elected mayor of Lajitas, Texas. He was succeeded by his son, Clay Henry, Jr., and Clay Henry III.

• 1997: Stubbs, a cat, was elected mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska. He still serves to this day.

• 1998: The town of Rabbit Hash, Ky. has had three dogs in a row serve as mayor.



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