While only the latest addition to the long list of oddities in Flint, Michigan’s history, at least this one doesn’t involve high crime, corporate abandonment, or foreclosure. And, it’s not only funny, but quite appropriate, too, many local residents apparently agree.
A new and popular candidate for mayor of Flint is … Giggles the Pig.
Giggles became a write-in candidate on May 4, the same day that the city announced that its own clerical error had wiped the slate of candidates clean. Flint’s clerk of court had posted an incorrect filing date for candidate petitions, meaning that all of the declared candidates, including the incumbent, must now resort to write-in campaigns.
That’s what brought Giggles to the table (and without any eggs on the side). No, it’s not a clown’s name. It doesn’t refer to the budgetary “pork” this city could use, either. Giggles is an actual pink and four-legged porcine, the owner of whom recently nominated his pet piggy as a write-in candidate. Pig papa Michael Ewing, an attorney in Flint, says the write-in option gives him opportunity to voice complaints (and “oink” them, too) about current elected officials. On Giggles’ new campaign page on Facebook, Ewing says:
It started because one of the city council members, who was convicted of murder, announced he was running for mayor. I am pretty forgiving, but I am really strongly opposed to murder—and think electing a mayor who was convicted of murder sends a bad message about our city.
Others seeking the office made Ewing squeal, too.
We also have a mayoral candidate who was recently convicted for driving his car while drunk on the highway with three flat tires—while driving the wrong direction on the highway. This same mayoral candidate has been thrown out of council meeting because he cannot behave himself.
Flint deserves better candidates than this. While reading about these people it occurred to me that Giggles would be a more dignified candidate—and I’m right.
The candidate filing error was the last straw, Ewing says. And to show his discontent, he threw not a hat, but a ham in the ring. Just three days later, Giggles’ Facebook page already has over 1,100 “likes.”
Even though Giggles might not be able to hold the office, that hasn’t stopped other candidates from attempting to “grill” this new competition. Seriously, too. As in, the negative comments they’re making about this one-year-old piglet are of the same variety ordinarily issued against actual candidates.
Take the comments from Eric Mays, a city councilman and candidate for mayor, to MLive, for example:
Does the pig know about economic development? Does a pig know about quality water?
Candidate Karen Weaver questioned Giggles’ eligibility, too:
I didn’t see any pig walking around getting signatures.
Ewing defends his pork chops from those political chops, though.
She is a sweet and intelligent animal—which is more than can be said for some candidates.
Giggles isn’t the first animal to run for office in the United States, and might not be the first to win, either. Bosco, a Labrador-Rottweiler mix, defeated two humans in the 1981 race for mayor of Sunol, California, and held the office until his death in 1994.
She isn’t the first political pig, either. In 1968, the Youth International Party (aka “Yippies”) nominated Pigasus as its presidential candidate.
Image: snipped from the “Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor” Facebook page