While people headed to the polls for Super Tuesday, there was an election in a small Vermont town where even children could vote.
And the people there chose a new mayor – a therapy dog.
It was a tight race in the election in Fair Haven, Vermont.
But Murfee, a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, came out on top. Eighteen animals were on the ballot and Murfee edged out the incumbent, a 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln, by 25 votes.
It’s been a two-year tradition to have a four-legged animal as mayor in Fair Haven. The honorary pet mayoral position began when the town decided to switch things up and use the position to help raise money to replace the community’s elementary school’s playground equipment, which is more than 20 years old.
Now, a pet owner can enter their pet in the race with a $5 registration fee.
“At a time when politics can be contentious, the mayoral race in Fair Haven brings the community together for a common cause,” Fair Haven Town Manager Joe Gunter told CNN. “It’s also a great way to teach our kids about civics and how important it is to vote in our local elections.”
And the young students came out to the polls in numbers. Of the 664 people who voted, about 300 were elementary school children, Gunter said.
A close race
Murfee took the win with 146 votes followed by Lincoln with 121. Sammy, a 6-year-old German shepherd rescue and the Fair Haven Police Department’s K-9 dog, came in third place with 117 votes.
Last year’s race was even closer. Lincoln won the mayor’s seat by just three votes.
As the newly elected mayor, Murfee will be the face of the town’s fundraising campaign and will make appearances at town events.
That means Murfee will have a lot on his plate this year. He is a certified therapy dog who visits nursing homes, grade schools and hospitals along with other dogs from the Caring Canines Therapy Dogs of Southern Vermont.
“I was excited. I think Murfee has proven he can raise money for the playground fund since he raised $570 with his bake sale,” Murfee’s owner Linda Barker told CNN.
And she said his reaction to the election was: “Does this mean I get extra treats?”
If you want to help donate towards the new playground, here’s the town’s GoFundMe page.
CNN’s Cole Higgins contributed to this report