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K-9 officer and goat incumbent vie for honorary mayor of Vermont town

  • In this Jan. 24, 2020, photo, Lincoln, a Nubian goat, stands in her pen in Fair Haven, Vt. She is running for a second term as honorary mayor of the town against Sammy, a German Sheperd police dog, as a fund-raiser for a community playground. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

  • In this Jan. 24, 2020, photo, Sammy, a police dog, sits in the lobby of the Fair Haven police station with Sergeant Dale Kerber, in Fair Haven, Vt. Sammy is running for honorary mayor of the town against an incumbent goat as a playground fund-raiser. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

Associated Press
Published: 1/28/2020 10:42:23 PM
Modified: 1/28/2020 10:44:07 PM

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. — It’s Lincoln the goat versus Sammy the dog in the race for honorary mayor of one Vermont town.

The Nubian goat had won the post in Fair Haven last year after the town manager came up with the pet mayor election to raise money to rehabilitate a community playground and to get kids civically involved.

“In Fair Haven, just like everywhere else, voter participation is not always as high as we want it,” Town Manager Joe Gunter said.

Resident Cheryl Daviau said the race has gotten children involved in the election process. Her granddaughter got her picture taken with the goat mayor and loved it, she said.

To up the ante, this year the police chief nominated K-9 Sammy, a German shepherd, who visits local schools daily with a resource officer, attends concerts in the park and is beloved around town.

The town announced the goat would run again after police debuted Sammy’s campaign.

Both Lincoln and Sammy are popular, so it could be a tight race.

“We’re definitely looking more forward to Sammy winning the race,” said Sharai Thayer, who has three kids in school. The friendly canine sits at the school when the kids are going in and out and even goes through the halls, she said.

A driver who was stopped for inspection violation on Friday told the police chief that he was voting for the dog.

The election is on March 3. People pay $1 to vote, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise more money for the playground. Last year’s race brought in $200, according to Gunter. Combined with other donations, the town has about $10,000 of the $80,000 needed for the playground, he said.

The position comes with responsibilities, Gunter said. The mayor “marches in parades, manages the playground fund and on occasion meets with the Board of Selectmen, just to keep an eye on them,” he said by email.

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