A Michigan lawyer wants his pig to enter into the Flint mayoral race after a mix-up threatened to keep candidates' names off the primary election ballot.
Michael Ewing started the "Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor" effort after learning that the August primary could be skipped unless a judge intervenes and all candidates would have to file as write-ins for the general election in November, The Flint Journal reported.
The pig’s candidacy seeks to draw more attention to the mayoral race, better educate voters about their choices and encourage residents to demand more of elected officials, Ewing said. He plans to take Giggles to meet the residents of Flint.
"I don't want to turn it into a laughingstock," Ewing said. "I don't know how else to get people to pay attention.
State election officials have said that Flint’s clerk accidentally told candidates that nominating petitions were due by April 28, but candidates later were told they missed the actual deadline by a week. State law does not permit a clerk to extend a deadline.
Not everyone has taken Giggles’ candidacy lightly.
Mayoral candidates Karen Weaver and Wantwaz Davis both took issue with a pig running for mayor.
"I didn't see any pig walking around getting signatures," Weaver said.
Weaver also called the problem a "mockery of the democratic process."
"Putting a pig in a race is an offense to the character and moral value we're trying to exemplify in the city," Davis said.
Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder declared an end to a financial emergency in Flint. The city has been run by four emergency managers since 2011 and control is being returned to local officials, although a five-member transition board will have a significant role.
"If we elect someone who is not up to the challenge, we'll be right back to the state of Michigan emergency manager again," Ewing said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.