ONTD Political

Hank the Cat places third in Virginia Senate race

9:18 am - 11/09/2012

The battle for the U.S. Senate between Tim Kaine and George Allen in Virginia may have been settled in the litter box instead of the ballot box if the tightly contested election had come down to about 6,000 votes given to a cat.

It’s entirely possible that third-place finisher in Virginia is Hank the Cat, a Maine Coon who ran on a pro-feline, job-creation platform.

In the current online results, Kaine is ahead of Allen by about 184,000 votes as of Thursday morning. The race was expected to be very close, and it was part of a record spending spree in the state that also featured a tight race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

But an examination of the official voting ballot online shows that there apparently wasn’t a candidate from a known third party listed on the ballot below Kaine and Allen, unlike past years. There also isn’t a third-party candidate listed on the election board website among its election results.

Hank the Cat had been running for the U.S. Senate since last winter as a part of a spoof on the modern election process. He received extended coverage in The Washington Post in February.

More about Hank + extra pics after the cut.

Hank even wrote a campaign blog for The Huffington Post in October, praising another cat running for office in Canada, Tuxedo Stan. That was after Hank survived an attack ad launched by a faux pro-dog super PAC.

Unfortunately for Hank, TV show host Ellen DeGeneres gave a public endorsement to Stan, and not Hank, on her show.

“I don’t like to get political—but I would vote for that cat,” she said.

While having a cat run for the Senate may seem like a joking matter, a total of more than 6,000 votes in a close election isn’t.

A future president, Lyndon B. Johnson, won his first U.S. Senate race in Texas by 27 votes. And we all know how close the 2000 presidential race was in Florida.

Today in Wisconsin, functional control of that state’s Senate will come down to an election decided by 590 votes.

And for the record, Hank’s total is about 7,000 votes less than the presidential votes received in Virginia by Virgil Goode, who was seen as a potential spoiler in the Obama-Romney race.

Back in Virginia, we found the official election results from Tuesday’s Senate race.

Kaine has 1.9 million votes, while Allen has 1.7 million. The total number of write-in votes was 29,121.

Fairfax County, where the cat’s campaign is located, cast a total of 1,989 write-in votes, while about 22,000 write-ins came from Arlington County.

In past U.S. Senate elections in Virginia, Hank would have finished in fifth place in 2008, and in fourth place in 2006.

Virginia doesn’t list the names of write-in candidates, but it does show the number of write-in votes by county. So we don’t know for sure if Hank came in third, but it’s a growing possibility.

Matthew O’Leary, the campaign manager for Hank, tells Constitution Daily that his candidate has 6,832 votes as of Thursday morning, not counting absentee and provisional ballots.

O’Leary says it is the highest total for a write-in U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia since 2002, which would likely indicate that Hank finished third behind Kaine and Allen, when the election board releases that data.

O’Leary hopes to have a final vote count on Tuesday, November 13, when Virginia’s precincts have to file certified results. He also will contact each of Virginia’s 134 precincts to request write-in results.

And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t appear Hank would be constitutionally eligible to hold office.

For starters, Hank is just 10 years old. A U.S. senator has to be 30 years of age (and most likely a human) to hold office.

Source + photo gallery: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/Cat_places_third_in_Virginia_Senate_race_Constitution_Daily.html
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
For starters, Hank is just 10 years old. A U.S. senator has to be 30 years of age (and most likely a human) to hold office.

10 cat years is at least 50 human years and the rest is just speciesist.
bushy_brow 9th-Nov-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
IKR? Won't somebody think of the kittens?
thenakedcat 9th-Nov-2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah but you could substitute a giant tortoise for some current legislators and you'd never even know the difference! Vote giant tortoise for office!
aviv_b I Beg to Differ9th-Nov-2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
You would clearly know the difference by how much gas each was releasing into the atmosphere!
chaya 9th-Nov-2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah but you could substitute a giant tortoise for some current legislators and you'd never even know the difference!

layweed 9th-Nov-2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
ahahaha get that man a turtle costume.
skittish_derby 9th-Nov-2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
bushy_brow 9th-Nov-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought, too. :-D
teacoat 9th-Nov-2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
My little brother wants to get a turtle and I'm lobbying hard to get him to name it Mitch McConnell. :)
celtic_thistle 11th-Nov-2012 04:49 am (UTC)
ceruleanst 9th-Nov-2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
Michael Moore ran a ficus plant against an otherwise uncontested Congressman. It's alive and meets the age requirement. The human (well, Republican) candidate got 10 votes, and the ficus got 40 write-in votes, but the county clerk refused to count them.
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
lmao what a pity they didn't count them!
celtic_thistle 11th-Nov-2012 04:55 am (UTC)
bib_specialist 9th-Nov-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
"But soon the killer sheep began to infect other animals with its startling intelligence. Pussy cats began to arrange mortgages, cocker spaniels began to design supermarkets...and parrots started to announce television programs!"

Edited at 2012-11-09 07:34 pm (UTC)
nightfury 9th-Nov-2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
i want an animal to be elected to the senate just to see what would happen

they would have to vote on bills right? how would that even work? lmao oh god
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I don't even think it would go that far, I would just love to see people on both sides of the aisle flip out about it.
nightfury 9th-Nov-2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
i can dream!!
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I bet there's no explicit language in the state/US Constitution either, and omfg what if it goes to court? lol will the cat have to be present to defend itself?
nightfury 9th-Nov-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
I don't know but I sure want to find out

Hank the Cat for senator 2018

Edited at 2012-11-09 06:52 pm (UTC)
kaelstra 9th-Nov-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
I really, really want to see this actually happen now. XD
anna_bea2 9th-Nov-2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
mycenaes 10th-Nov-2012 03:41 am (UTC)
ahahahaha ikr?
dustbunny105 9th-Nov-2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
I, for one, would welcome our new feline overlords... but there's not actually anything new about cats in power.

*currently being used as a bed by three and a bathtub by a fourth*
layweed 9th-Nov-2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Awwwww lucky you.
kaelstra 9th-Nov-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
....I'd have voted for him.
liret 9th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Whatever, Mayor Stubbs is still the best feline politician of all time. OF ALL TIME.
beautyofgrey 9th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
I LOVE that there is a campaign sign. I would have been far less grumpy to see a million campaign signs featuring cats.
clevermanka 9th-Nov-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Welp, that's the best thing I'm going to read today.
ladyvoldything 9th-Nov-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
Next time they have to use a parrot who's of age.
thecityofdis 9th-Nov-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
As a Virginia voter, I did NOT vote for Hank because I'm concerned about his views on cats and dogs living together.
strwbrri_shrtck 9th-Nov-2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
I appreciate your extensive research on the matter and your educated vote, fellow Virginian.
fishphile 9th-Nov-2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Virginians that did not vote for that feline 2012! No one researched Hank or they would have known that he holds abhorrent views on mice.
gashinenai 9th-Nov-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
this is such a beautiful post :D
crossfire 9th-Nov-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
strwbrri_shrtck 9th-Nov-2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
I love my state.
moonshaz Because this would not be complete without a cat macro...9th-Nov-2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
...and because one cat is never enough and there is no such thing as two many cats:

lady_borg Re: Because this would not be complete without a cat macro...9th-Nov-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Omg, this is...just adorable.
fishphile Re: Because this would not be complete without a cat macro...9th-Nov-2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
Uh, these cats love this post because the candidate is a cat. There is clearly no other reason for them to be pro-Hank.
moonshaz Re: Because this would not be complete without a cat macro...10th-Nov-2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
rkt 10th-Nov-2012 12:14 am (UTC)
there's also this:


not sure if it needs it's own new post but it's hi-larious; also in the running: Bart Simpson, Honey Boo Boo, and ME.
blackjedii 10th-Nov-2012 12:47 am (UTC)
I didn't even see him on my ballot ;.;
ook 10th-Nov-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Hank might have been a write-in candidate! :3
blackjedii 10th-Nov-2012 02:38 am (UTC)

Except that in retrospect I had a touchpad ballot so writing would be hard.

ALTHOUGH IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING okay I am in Southwest Virginia which is all up in the Scottish settlement stuff and so we still have clans (so to speak) and everything

And my polling place is awesome and all and they had prepped this time to split the line into two to handle more people more efficiently.

And they separated the line into A-L and M-Z.

And naturally, there's a larger majority of people with McC and McD names...

So the A-L line was completely empty

AND I WAITED TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES woo at least I got a really big sticker
cindel 10th-Nov-2012 03:45 am (UTC)
Puppies are better for the commonwealth!
ennifer_jay 10th-Nov-2012 06:18 am (UTC)
Cats are finally taking over the world.

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