Were he not a dog, Jake Rochester would have made a fine politician. The fugitive Labrador Retriever earned the most write-in votes in a City Council election in Sioux City, thanks to a concerted “Vote Jake” campaign on his behalf. Jake’s story is a strange one. The dog of a local councilman, he was supposed to be put down after biting a neighbor, but someone kidnapped him in August before the sentence could be carried out.
The tale turned the missing dog into a local celebrity, with entrepreneurs selling T-shirts bearing his likeness. Eventually a Sioux City magazine began a “Vote Jake” campaign, complete with buttons, bumper stickers, and shirts. In the end 62 people wrote in “Jake,” “Jake the Dog” or “Jake Rochester” on their ballots, while one person wrote “Jake’s kidnapper.” Others receiving votes included Mickey Mouse, Bozo the Clem (not clown, apparently), and Ronald Reagan.