Elections are serious stuff. Our democracy depends on them. So when someone - or some ridiculously cute four-legged animal, as the case may be - makes a mockery of an election, it’s no laughing matter.
That seems to be the stance being taken by Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein, the locally elected official whose probably been asked more dog-related questions in the last few days than she’d care to remember. Faced with the increasingly popular write-in candidacy of Nyima, a Tibetan terrier that’s looking to oust longtime Bellingham County Prosecutor David McEachran, Adelstein has maintained that the dog is “not a viable candidate,” and that any votes cast for the pooch will not be counted.
Like all great dogs, Nyima seems to be following the directions of its master. According to reports, Frank James is a family doctor and an assistant professor at the University of Washington, and he also happens to be the man responsible for pushing Nyima has a write-in candidate. The Democrat has been frustrated by the fact that the Bellingham County Prosecutor, a Republican, hasn’t had a political challenger in ten terms. As ABC News notes, James believes that “if no one ever runs against the current politician, important questions will never get talked about,” and that “the strongest way to hold public officials accountable is for people to run against them.”
Or, in this case, a dog.
“It’s no brilliant political strategy,” James tells ABC. “But a number of people have told me that they are registering to vote for my dog.”
Brilliance, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. While McEachran has maintained that he’s too busy with his work to comment on Nyima’s candidacy, The Bellingham Herald, ABC News, KOMO, KIRO, and Jezebel (to name but a few media outlets) have picked up on Nyima’s story.