Four mayoral hopefuls left the starting gate Memorial weekend and entered the early stretch of what promises to be an exciting race for honorary mayor of Eastsound.
Despite her short stature, Ginger intends to prove she’s anything but a one-trick pony in the race for mayor. The dark-horse candidate currently leads the race, just a nose ahead of Tinker, the politician best known for giving out kisses and soft hugs at campaign rallies across Orcas. Political pundits predict Tinker will have a trick or two up his sleeve. Watch for the campaign manager to pull a rabbit out of her hat.
The two current underdogs, Sgt. Pepper and Rocky, are trailing early, but admit to pacing themselves for the long run.
“Remember the fable,” said Rocky. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
The mayoral race, which features local pets, is an annual fundraiser sponsored by and benefiting Children’s House. Voters “buy” candidates into office by placing as many votes as they want at local polling stations or online. Look for boxes in businesses around town and Saturdays at the farmers market.
Vote, follow the election and download the voter’s guide at oich.org. The race concludes July 7, when a new honorary mayor is named and given a key to the village by current Mayor Hudson, an English cream golden retriever.
Candidate: Tinker (Pure-bred French Lop/British Bunny/Wild West Wascally Wabbit mix).
Sponsors: Crow Valley Gallery, Darvill’s and Orcasong Farm.
Campaign Manager: Wendy Shinstine.
Slogan: “Think Tink!”
Bunny Scoop: Promoting a healthy diet of fresh veggies, Tink is a fan of local farms on bountiful Orcas and believes in compassion and acceptance for all hops of life.
Top Issues: Community mindfulness.
Tidbit: His favorite treat is cilantro.
Unique Qualities: Known for both his athletic abilities and talented dance moves, Tink also enjoys kissing – a trait assumedly inherited from his French side.
Candidate: Sgt. Pepper (Mixed terrier).
Sponsor: Wild Island.
Campaign Manager: teacher Annie Valentine.
Slogan: “Put a Little Pep in Your Step.”
Dog Scoop: This French-Canadian made his way from Montreal to Orcas after pool-side stops in Las Vegas, a bout of self-discovery in Eugene, and the big city life in Seattle. World travel taught him compassion for others despite differences.
Top Issues: “Peace and Harmony.” Sgt. Pepper is for an inclusive community – where dogs, horses even bunnies are always welcome.
Unique Qualities: Sgt. Pepper is empathetic and playful. People often mistake him for Toto.
Candidate: Rocky (Miniature Poodle).
Sponsor: Ray’s Pharmacy.
Campaign Manager: Brita Brahce.
Slogan: “Spreading love and joy through Eastsound and beyond.”
Dog Scoop: From humble beginnings in a Craigslist ad, Rocky has flourished, becoming an established personality on Orcas. A good lap-sitter, he loves children and people.
Top Issues: Firmly believes, “Everyone just needs more love.”
Unique Qualities: The more than 11-year-old doesn’t look or act his age, tends to like people more than canines. A positive thinker, Rocky will give high fives!
Candidate: Ginger (miniature horse).
Sponsor: Madrona Point Insurance.
Campaign Managers: Aria Griffin and (mom) Kami.
Slogan: “Bring awareness to plastic waste!”
Racing Form: Rescued from a previous camp, Ginger eventually trotted her way to Orcas, where she now resides with four goat buddies.
Tidbit: Ginger loves salty LAYS potato chips.
Top Issues: Recycling and chemical-free living.
Unique Qualities: A good listener and a great friend, scratch her neck just right and she smiles.