FAIR HAVEN, Vt. — A candidate in a Vermont mayoral race hasn’t announced her platform yet, but we can take a guess. It probably focuses on belly rubs and treats — lots of treats. You see, in Fair Haven, politicians don’t have to pick a party, or have opposable thumbs. Sammy the K-9 officer is running against Lincoln the goat, the incumbent mayor.
Sammy goes above and beyond for her community, serving as the Fair Haven Police Department’s K-9 officer.
“Sammy was actually a rescue dog,” said Sgt. Dale Kerber with the Fair Haven Police Department.
She trained in tracking and drugs but also makes time to stop at schools.
“All the kids, they are very familiar with her, and they are always wanting her to come in and pay a visit,” said Sgt. Kerber.
She might have the popular vote with the kids after she kicked off her campaign for mayor.
“I actually found out about it from one of the kids at the grade school,” said Sgt. Kerber. “I hadn’t been told about it, my K-9 partner, her hat had been thrown in the ring.”
Fair Haven has a town manager, and the mayoral position is part of a fundraiser to build a new playground.
“We thought to go the national trend and have our dog challenge the mayor, or whoever the candidate is, for fundraising, and all that money would be donated to the playground fund,” said Fair Haven Police Chief Bill Humphries.
In 2019, Lincoln the goat won the mayor’s seat by three votes.
“Lincoln has done a great job,” said Chief Humphries. “Lincoln has represented the community well, and we thought it would be a great idea to run for one more year, and see if we can challenge you.”
The election gets the kids involved — who vote for who they want to represent them.
“I think it is great for the kids to get involved in the politics of it, the democracy,” said Sgt. Kerber. “They have a chance to vote who they think should be the next pet mayor.”
Candidates can register to be on the ballot until February.
As for Sammy’s chances…
“I have no idea!” said Sgt. Kerber. “I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you.”
If she doesn’t win, she can always fall back on her day job with the police department.