There’s nothing more irresistible than a cute pet picture, and as the race for Portland mayor begins to heat up, candidates are calling on their four-legged supporters to lend a paw.

In the last few days, three of the four candidates for mayor took to Facebook to share adorable pictures of dogs out on the campaign trail – posing for photos, planting signs and attending news conferences.

Then there’s the candidate who doesn’t have any pets but says he cares for a family of skunks outside his apartment building.

Travis Curran, a 33-year-old restaurant server, said he doesn’t have time for a dog or cat between campaigning and his full-time job, but he does “make do with my friendly neighborhood fauna.”

The family of skunks – a mother and two babies – eat trash in the bags Curran sets out on the curb for pickup. The mother is too protective for petting, but Curran says he gives them space and has never been sprayed.

He hasn’t shared any pictures because the skunks are shy and too nocturnal, he said.


Meanwhile, none of the other candidates owns a dog, but they said some of their most loyal supporters are canines.

Silas, a 5-year-old Pug who belongs to Ben Gagnon, the finance director for the campaign of incumbent Ethan Strimling, has been appearing in posts on the mayor’s social media pages since July.

“He is the original dog fan of any campaign,” Strimling said.

This week Silas appeared at a news conference outside City Hall, where a social media post quipped that he also is endorsing Gagnon, who gives him “copious amounts of treats.”

Strimling said that growing up, he had a black lab named Cleo.

Meanwhile, Spencer Thibodeau posted pictures Friday of Bella, a French bulldog and Boston Terrier mix who belongs to the sister of his campaign manager, Marpheen Chann.


Chann said that Thibodeau, a 31-year-old real estate attorney, has been talking about getting a Rhodesian ridgeback after the election is over.

Finally, Kate Snyder also posed with a cute pup last week – an adorable pug puppy that prompted another supporter to comment that her dog also wanted a photo with the candidate.

Snyder, the 49-year-old head of an education nonprofit, has two black-and-white cats, Flossy and Flick.



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