Anderson Cooper endorses Tuxedo Stan for mayor
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:31PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:25PM ADT
A controversial candidate in Halifax’s mayoral race has received an unexpected celebrity endorsement.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper included Tuxedo Stan’s campaign for mayor on his RidicuList during last night’s episode of Anderson Cooper 360.
“We usually don’t take sides politically, but I think we’ll make an exception, go ahead and give our unofficial endorsement for one candidate for mayor of Halifax,” said Cooper.
“I was elated, I was overwhelmed, I was panicked,” says Stan’s campaign manager. “This is going to mean more work, and it’s work for a good cause.”
Tuxedo Stan, a three-year-old cat born to a feral mother, has been heating up the race for mayor with his platform that shines a light on Halifax’s feline friends.
Owners Hugh and Kathy Chisholm launched the Tuxedo Party, with Stan as its leader, as a means to address Halifax’s problem with feral cats.
"Stan's mission is to try and get the word out that we have a cat problem in the HRM,” says Hugh Chisholm. “We have too many homeless cats. We have cats people can't afford to get spayed and neutered."
The party’s slogan is “Because negligence isn’t working” and its aim is to improve the welfare of cats throughout the city.
The Chisholms say they had been sitting around the dinner table with friends one night and the idea of Tuxedo Stan was born
“That settles it. I want to go to a Canadian dinner party as soon as possible,” said Cooper. “Just sitting around the table…next thing you know, your cat is running for mayor!”
While Cooper joked about the prospect of a cat running for mayor, he did draw attention to the issue of an exploding cat population in Halifax and the importance of spaying and neutering.
“You thought I was going to say cat-astrophe didn’t you? No, it’s not going to happen…this is a serious story about a serious mayoral race in Halifax,” he said.
Tuxedo Stan’s handlers have taken a playful approach.
"I think if we can make people laugh and smile and give them hope then I think the message is going to go even further," says campaign manager Kathy Chisholm.
Cooper also noted that Tuxedo Stan isn’t the only cat aiming to make a difference in his community.
Stubbs the Cat was elected mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska in 1997 and a brown tabby from Springfield is running for U.S. Senate in Virginia.
Even before making an appearance on CNN, Tuxedo Stan’s campaign had been gathering steam. His Facebook page has roughly 6,000 likes and the first 100 campaign signs were quickly snatched up.
While his popularity among voters is on the rise, municipal laws dictate that a cat cannot run for mayor.
Despite the law, Cooper is throwing his support behind the feline.
“I don’t want to start anything, but I’m fairly certain that the 360 staff is made up of more dog people than cat people,” he said. “But there’s no dog in this fight. So we have no choice, we’ve got to vote for the cat.”
With files from CTVNews.ca and Paul Hollingsworth