--Note: This is a reprint of a Pete Thomas story on GrindTv Outdoor channel
Those who have grown weary of the U.S. presidential election, of the savage attacks and what often seems a circus atmosphere, might enjoy a much tamer election that involves candidates who really are down to earth--who understand hard times and the difference a helping hand can make.
Tamer, despite these candidates being wild animals. They are Ahpun, a 14-year-old polar bear, and Denali, a 6-year-old gray wolf.
Both have been nominated as candidates for the presidency of the Alaska Zoo, in a race that will raise funds for an Anchorage facility that provides homes for orphaned, injured, and captive-born animals.
At last check, neither animal has chosen a running mate, and a certain Momma Grizzly has not thrown her hat into the ring.
As Obama and Romney attempt to prove that they understand their constituents and their everyday struggles, these two furry candidates don't have anything to prove along those lines.
Ahpun was orphaned near Point Lay, at just 3 months old, and would not have survived if she hadn't been rescued.
According to her position statement, she is "large and in charge," and "the best candidate for the position."
Denali has a similar background. He has lived at the zoo since he was two weeks old. As a pack animal, he "believes in teamwork." Of his iconic nature, he states, "I have a mountain named after me."
His position statement adds: "I'm quick on my feet and steady in my pace."
Early polls favor the much-younger wolf, but voting will run through Nov. 6 during an election that will not be influenced by Super PACS or negative TV ads.
However, wealthy voters could easily sway this election.
Votes cost $1 and people can vote as often as they wish, and it seems that somebody has dropped a wad on Denali. Through Friday morning the wolf was leading by a margin of 270 to 140.
To be sure, Ahpun, a definite believer in climate change, is walking on thin ice. But the lovable bear isn't worried, according to this slogan:
"I paddle with the best through rough waters."