SARASOTA, Fla. (July 2) - The newest candidate challenging Secretary of State Katherine Harris in her bid for Congress is truly an underdog: a border collie mix.
Percy the dog is running as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary, said his owner and campaign manager, Wayne Genthner.
Genthner is offering up his canine candidate as both satire and as a protest against the political establishment.
``No one has a realistic expectation that a dog can get elected,'' Genthner said last week. ``But plenty of people will be willing to vote for a dog to represent their discontent with the political system.''
Percy and his volunteer campaign staff have been shaking paws and handing out flyers, with slogans including: ``Never made a mess in the House! Never will!'' and ``PERCY! Putting the LICK back into Republican.''
His official campaign bio describes Percy as a compassionate conservative who takes a hard-line with social parasites, particularly fleas and worms. His past is free of sex scandals, due to ``timely neutering.''
Harris, who faces one Republican challenger and five Democrats for the open congressional seat, is not concerned.
Percy ``has a lot of paws to shake to catch up,'' said campaign spokeswoman Jessica Furst.
07/02/02 06:31 EDT