For years conservationists have been on the watch for the spread of Asian carp, but nobody had expected to find one running for office. According to MLive.com, signs for “Twenty Pound Carp” recently appeared on the lawns of homes in Ann Arbor, Michigan supporting the fish’s election to city council. It is a bold move, especially considering the same carp had been previously removed from a local pond because it was considered a destructive pest. While it is a member of an invasive species, that did not stop the carp from declaring for a seat on city council and asking its followers to vote for it as a write-in candidate.
It is currently not known who is placing the signs around town or managing the common carp’s Twitter account, but the strange candidate has already drummed up considerable attention.
“When I’m elected as a write-in candidate in the Ward 4 city council race this fall, look for some awesome changes, my friend,” read a post on the carp’s Twitter account.
Common carp are not known for their political aspirations, but instead for their environment-altering habits. Common carp are especially dangerous to duck and fish species because they uproot and destroy lake-bottom vegetation, which in turn allows algae to move in. It is not a fact that the Twenty Pound Carp denies, instead the the virtues of being a bottom feeder were extolled on its Twitter page. Posts on behalf of the carp also said that it viewed itself as a “grass-roots Ann Arbor local politician” and a supporter of waterway development.
“I believe in open borders and free movement of all species (excepting maybe a few mute swans who shall go nameless, yo),” one of the posts read.
The carp declared for Ann Arbor’s Fourth Ward, where the only candidate on the ballot is Democrat Jack Eaton.
“I’m amused,” Eaton said regarding the carp’s campaign. “I have a sense of humor and I think it’s funny. I consider a 20-pound carp to be a substantial opponent and I wish him the best.”
ABC News reported that the fish neglected to file the proper paperwork for the election and votes for it will be not valid. Nonetheless, the carp is undeterred in its quest for public office, with tweets reminding followers that November 5 is voting day.
“In light of the historic nature of my candidacy, I’ve set aside one of my signs for the Labadie Collection at the [University of Michigan],” one of the tweets announced earlier today.
As for what it will be doing after the collection, the carp hints that it might be interested in advocating for education reform.
“’An abacus in every classroom’ movement rolls on like the molasses flood of reform,” another tweet stated.
Edit added 11/6/2013: After votes were tallied Tuesday evening, it was determined that Twenty Pound Carp had lost its bid for City Council. Jack Eaton was elected with 1,678 votes, with precincts counting 209 write-in votes.