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California town appoints Max the Golden Retriever dog as their mayor for a fifth term

The people of Idyllwild California have decided once again to elect a dog as the mayor of their town. The Golden Retriever Maximus Mighty Dog Mueller II, also known to the people of Idyllwild as Mayor Max has been the incumbent for 5 years now preceded by his uncle who was also named Max.


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In 2012, Idyllwild ran its first mayoral elections, but there was a twist. The caveat was that the candidate must be a resident of the town but also… must not be human… preferably should either be a cat or a dog. Therefore, people were encouraged to have their pets run for elections.

To assist in this process, the town appointed Phyllis Mueller as Mayor Max’s chief of staff.

According to Mueller “[i]n a voted election, 14 dogs and 2 cats ran, and we decided to have an election to raise money for the animal rescue, so you paid a dollar a vote and you were encouraged to vote a lot.” 

After the passing of Mayor Max senior in 2013, the town unanimously voted for Maximus Mighty Dog Mueller II to become the new mayor of Idyllwild. The position was a lot of responsibility for Max who was just a puppy at the time.

Obviously a mayor’s job is quite demanding therefore Mueller had to assist with the responsibilities that come with a mayor’s position.

“My role as the chief of staff is to help run the vision of the mayor’s office for Idyllwild, so we actually run an actual mayor’s office,” Mueller said.

“His role is to make the world a better place by conveying unconditional love and doing as many good deeds for others,” Mueller elaborated.

According to NBC news, both Mayor Max and his chief of staff make frequent public appearances. Max can often be seen in his doggo-mobile accompanied by a fleet of deputies who, of course, are also golden retrievers. Mayor Max and Mueller often attend charities, community events and fundraisers.  


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Max will continue to hold this role for his lifetime.

People are absolutely smitten by Max and the town has become an attraction for tourists who want to meet man’s best friend turned mayor of Idyllwild.

Andrea Valdez a visitor of Idyllwild tells KMIR TV:

“Max is awesome. He is super friendly and he lets my son give him treats.”