Idyllwild, California — As Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the other primary candidates await the final results in Iowa, Mayor Max knows exactly where he stands with voters in Idyllwild, California. Max is a golden retriever who has won three consecutive elections in the small, picturesque town.
Phyllis Mueller is Max's chief of staff and she funds the mayor's office out of her house. Idyllwild doesn't have a local government, so residents there elect a ceremonial mayor.
"Our animal rescue group came up with the idea to have it be a fundraiser where you paid a dollar a vote," said Mueller.
Like most successful mayors, Max has a nose for politics. At a time when the country seems more divided than ever, Mayor Max's non-partisan ways are clearly bringing people together.
"They like the break from the divisiveness of politics," Mueller said. "They appreciate the lightheartedness of it."