Approximately 470 folks live in the Kentucky hamlet of Rabbit Hash, but it’s the furry and feathered inhabitants who run the place.
Named after the label given to a local jokester who remarked that there would be plenty of rabbit hash after the nearby Ohio River flooded the area in the 1840s, driving hundreds of rabbits in from the riverbanks, the 3.5 acre-town just elected its fifth animal mayor: a French bulldog named Wilbur Beast.
“The people of Rabbit Hash generally elect mayors based on the candidates’ willingness to have their belly scratched,” states the Rabbit Hash Historical Society.
The society is a nonprofit organization that owns the town. Residents cast their votes by donating $1 toward the organization, which helps fund the society’s rehabilitation projects. As you can see in a Facebook post, they encourage residents to vote early and often.
That’s right — voter fraud is apparently rampant in Rabbit Hash; commenters on the election’s Facebook page think the election is rigged, and the moderator confesses to a long tradition of “graft and corruption” since it makes people buy votes. The hamlet experienced its highest turnout ever with an election total of 22,985 votes.
Six-month-old Wilbur won over his canine competitors, a beagle named Jack Rabbit and a golden retriever named Poppy, with a whopping 13,143 votes. Other contenders included a rooster, a cat (who died before Election Day) and a donkey. Don’t feel too bad for the runners up, though. They will join a border collie known as Lady Stone as Rabbit Hash Ambassadors.
In fact, Lady Stone also announced the new mayor’s victory on her own Facebook page.
Because Rabbit Hash is an unincorporated community, it does not have any legitimate political officials.
“Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, has never had an actual person or human as a mayor,” Amy Noland (Wilbur’s human) told NBC News.
Former mayors include the first mayor, Goofy, a dog of “unknown parentage;” Junior, a black lab; Lucy Lou, a red and black border collie who “broke the glass ceiling in 2008, as the first female to be elected mayor” in Rabbit Hash; and American pit bull terrier Brynneth Pawltro.
Each mayor holds office for a four-year term.
“Although it’s not political at all, it always coincides with the presidential election,” Noland told NBC, adding that her decision to run Wilbur’s campaign was due to negativity in the media. “I guess I wanted Wilbur to be something positive in the news.”
You can follow Mayor Wilbur on his official Facebook page.
What an adorable tradition! We can’t wait to see more of the new mayor.