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Cat Runs for Virginia Senate Seat

It's election time again here in the United States. In an era marked by divisiveness and sound-bite mudslinging, Americans are longing for something different. A...

JaneA Kelley  |  Feb 28th 2012


It’s election time again here in the United States. In an era marked by divisiveness and sound-bite mudslinging, Americans are longing for something different. A break from politics as usual. (Cue the sublimely inspiring orchestral music and the American flag waving proudly against a clear blue sky.)

We dream of having candidates who really represent the people. Who are truly independent. Who are willing to fight to keep the promises they made on the campaign trail. Who are not swayed by lobbyists unless they come bearing cheese.

Wait, what?

In the dead-heat U.S. Senate race between Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen, a new candidate has emerged: Hank.

The dark-horse (ahem) candidate, a 9-year-old Maine Coon, is running on a platform of job creation ÔÇö and low-cost spaying and neutering for homeless animals.

Hank bills himself as a “proud independent” who, despite his humble origins (he and his siblings were born to a single mother living on the mean streets of Springfield, Va., and were saved from execution by rescue group Animal Allies), pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made a great life for himself.

Well, okay, he didn’t quite pull himself up by his bootstraps. It was with the help of his loving adoptive family that the fluffy feline was able to achieve his own American dream.

“Hank is a refreshing candidate ÔÇö energetic, inspiring, and real,” according to his Facebook page. “Unlike so many others, he wasnt born with a ‘silver spoon’ ÔÇö but rather earned his success and his name through hard work. He knows what its like to have very little, and knows that with hard work and dedication anyone can seize the opportunities that this great nation presents all of us.”

Hank announced his candidacy yesterday, and his website quickly crashed due to the overwhelming response from Virginians hungering for a new voice.

Because the cat didn’t get on the ballot, he’s running as a write-in candidate. His campaign, managed by his caretaker, Matthew O’Leary, includes a TV ad blessedly devoid of mud-slinging and finger pointing, and posters and bumper stickers popping up all over the place. With the burgeoning ranks of Friends of Hank, he may just be a contender.

O’Leary says that all contributions made at Hank’s website are donated to animal rescue groups.

Check out Hank’s campaign ad:

(In a reader? Watch the video here.)

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