Hot dog mascot runs for Gov.

By Natasha Kellett

Massachusetts politics is going to the dogs in this year’s gubernatorial race.

Surprise candidate Spike, the bulldog spokesmutt of the hot dog franchise Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, has entered the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial as a write-in candidate ready to make a drastic change.

“It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there,” Spike said in a looped recording that played during a meet-and-greet at the Boylston Junkyard Dogs, a hot dog restaurant, Oct. 23. “I know you’re all hungering for a change. It’s time for a change now, from human to dog.”

Spike felt a call to run for governor because he figured he had a great shot considering the other candidates, said David Drake, Spike’s campaign manager and founder of Spike’s Junkyard Dogs. He ran for the same reason in Rhode Island 12 years ago, Drake said.

“He came in a respectable third,” Drake said. Rhode Island election officials refused to tell him the actual number of votes Spike received, he said.

Spike runs on a bare-bones platform focused on honesty, Drake said. His campaign slogan asserts he will never lie to you.

“I’m man’s best friend,” Spike said. “I’m honest and faithful.”

Spike has no worries about branching out to his human constituency. While animals already know Spike through his fund-raising for animal rescue leagues, human constituents got a chance to know him better at a series of campaign events hosted at Spike’s franchise locations, Drake said.

Spike kicked off his campaign at the Somerville location Oct. 14, stopping at the Boylston location last Friday. At each event Spike posed for pictures, with proceeds benefitting Angell Memorial Animal Hospital. He gave away free hot dogs, buttons and stickers.

The public reacted well to Spike’s campaign, Drake said.

“I explained the free hot dog was an effort to buy their vote, and they were OK with that because it was better than the alternatives,” Drake said.

Several well-known politicians of both major parties have endorsed Spike’s campaign and the quality of Spike’s Junkyard Dogs. Or at least it sounds that way.

“Folks, I’m here to tell the truth this time,” a voice resembling former President Bill Clinton’s said in the recording that played at the event, referring to his love of Spike’s Junkyard Dogs and endorsement of Spike’s campaign.

“I’m not afraid to admit the Frank Sinatra dog goes very well with Scotch, and I’ve got the belly to prove it,” the “voice” of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy said in the recording.

Others voices resembling President George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed confidence in Spike’s ability to reach the people through hot dogs.

Northeastern’s political leaders were less than impressed by Spike’s campaign.

“I think it’s pretty silly. I think we have real things to focus on, and I’ll leave it at that,” said Josh Robin, president of Northeastern’s College Democrats.

Spike and his campaign staff disagree.

“As Spike says, if those turkeys can run, so can he as a dog,” Drake said.

Leave a Reply