The town of Idyllwild, California is nestled within the San Jacinto Mountains. There are hiking trails, quaint neighborhood streets, and best of all, a dog serving as mayor. The residents are full of town pride, and the tight-knit community elected Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II in a landslide election in 2014. Mayor Max has been faithfully serving his town ever since, and the people of Idyllwild wouldn’t have it any other way.
The story of how a town elected a dog as mayor starts in 2012. As a non-incorporated town, Idyllwild can have no human mayor. To fill the void, the local animal shelter, Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends (ARF), decided to host the town’s first-ever mayoral election. Human candidates were out of the question, but ARF filled the ballot with 14 dogs and two cats. All candidates were locally nominated, and townspeople were encouraged to pay one dollar to vote.
Among the candidates, Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller (the current Mayor Max’s uncle) was an obvious favorite. He ran as an independent with a platform of conveying unconditional love to all people and performing random acts of kindness. After the votes were tallied (and an incredible $31,000 were raised), the first Mayor Max was officially sworn into office.
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