Buster held a little more than a 300-vote lead over a bloodhound named Pa Kettle at the end of business on Thursday. Votes for each of 11 animals in the running are counted when people make donations to the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter in each candidate’s name. Buster had 1,656 votes by Thursday.
The 2014 field includes Buster, Pa Kettle, a donkey, a wolf, a hedgehog and others.
The new mayor will be named at 7 p.m. on April 8 when the 2014 fundraiser ends. The mayoral election format began in Divide in 2010 when Sprite the dog won the inaugural contest. Sprite, who has raised the most money for TCRAS in two elections, was succeeded by Walter the three-legged cat in 2012.
In each of the 2010 and 2012 elections, the animal shelter raised more than $10,000, said Nancy Adams of TCRAS. By Thursday, the organization had already raised $8,812 during the 2014 mayoral race.
People who still want to vote can go to tcrascolorado.com or visit any of 16 voting locations in Teller County.
Each vote costs $1 with all money going to support the shelter. Voters can vote as many times as they want and for as many candidates as they see fit, Adams said, noting that donations to the nonprofit are tax-deductible.