One of the most contentious and nail-biting election campaigns in the Bay Areais at its peak right now.

But it’s probably not the one you’re thinking about.

This mayoral race features at least four contenders: Wally, Betty, Mimi andMacy. They are well known in the neighborhood, friendly with everyone theymeet. They each want the best for their community in North Oakland.

And none of them are human.

These adorable cats and dogs are running to be the mayor of 55th Street inOakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood.

It all started when a rather official-looking red, white and blue campaignsign popped up in the front yard of a property on 55th and Marshall streetsreading: “Re-elect Wally for Mayor of 55th Street” at the top, and “Paid forby the Wally for Mayor 2020 PAC” at the bottom. In the center is a photo of afluffy orange and white feline

And none of them are human.

These adorable cats and dogs are running to be the mayor of 55th Street inOakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood.

It all started when a rather official-looking red, white and blue campaignsign popped up in the front yard of a property on 55th and Marshall streetsreading: “Re-elect Wally for Mayor of 55th Street” at the top, and “Paid forby the Wally for Mayor 2020 PAC” at the bottom. In the center is a photo of afluffy orange and white feline.

The sign’s creator, Heather La Mastro, said Wally doesn’t have an officialowner. He showed up on her block just west of San Pablo Avenue about four orfive years ago, and she and her neighbors all started feeding him. So he stuckaround.

“We all love him and take care of him,” she said. “He’s a free spirit who goeseverywhere and explores everything … We’ve been lovingly referring to him asthe mayor of 55th Street.”

When the coronavirus shutdown began in March, La Mastro said even more peoplewere out and about, and Wally was very friendly with everyone. And as electionseason progressed, she said, “We needed a break and relief from the chaos ofthe (presidential) election. I thought it would be a cute idea to officiallylaunch his campaign.”

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