1938: Washington Republicans elect a mule

In 1938, Republican Party members in the small town of Milton, Washington assembled for their monthly meeting. On the agenda was the election of a committeeman to represent them at county level. Only one written nomination was tabled, from a Mr Boston Curtis. With no other candidates put forward, Boston was duly elected, despite the voters not knowing who – or what – he was:

“Boston Curtis, a mule, has been elected as Republican committeeman in the town of Milton, Washington. Boston was entered in the race by the Democratic mayor and received 51 votes – without offering a platform or making a speech.”

Boston’s nominator, Mayor Kenneth Simmons, later told the press he had nominated the mule as a prank, not expecting him to be elected. According to Simmons, he made no secret of his japery. He had led Boston to the local courthouse and ‘signed’ the nomination form with his hoofprint while laughing heartily with city officials. In the end, the joke was on those who blindly voted a mule up Republican Party ranks:

“It was a pretty mean trick to play on a mule, getting him into politics that way and making a fool of him. But at least Boston Curtis can congratulate himself on being no more of a donkey than the 51 Republicans who voted for him, without taking the trouble to find out what he was.”

Source: The Milwaukee Journal, September 30th 1938. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2016. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.

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