A national viral internet sensation from this week's election has its origins in Bloomington Normal. A 20 pound carp ran a gill in cheek campaign for City Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Garrett Scott the Younger speaks for the carp. Scott is a University High School Graduate from Normal who in a moment of whimsy ran the fish's candidacy. The carp talked about development issues in Ann Arbor on Twitter.
"That was, you know, getting occasional attention or feedback, but it wasn't until on sort of a whim that I decided to buy a few campaign signs that that gave a sort of solidity to the campaign. Campaign signs are a cheap investment in suddenly making yourself look legitimate."
At its height, Scott says the Carp fielded interview requests from around the nation and from national networks. The Twenty Pound Carp did get several hundred write-in votes but was unsuccessful in the bid for office.
"The Carp took to Twitter in what I would have to characterize as a very gracious address to his opponent, asked him to consider the occasional burst of weirdness in public policy and from there bowed out of the race."
Scott says after growing up with parents who were a county zoning official and a long time Normal Town Council member he developed strong opinions of his own about development, and wanted to address questions of neighborhood issues that were being neglected in public policy conversations about downtown needs.
"I don't know that there will be a lasting impact on public discourse. But, I hope that it at least reminds people that there is room for whimsy, satire, weirdness, whatever you want to call it, to at least get people talking about local issues."
Scott says the carp has now been urged to run for Mayor of Toronto after the current Mayor there confessed to smoking crack while in office. Hear the entire interview with the Carp's voice.
Support Your Public Radio Station