Strip club owner says his canine mayoral candidate is meant to get people motivated about government

Buddy, the weiner dog running for Tualatin Mayor is owned by Star Cabaret owner Randy Kaiser, who said the pup's political run is meant to send a message.The wiener dog running for Tualatin mayor has an interesting day job.

Buddy, the 6-year-old dachshund who announced last week that he was running for mayor, spends most of his days at a Tualatin strip club.

That’s no surprise considering Buddy is owned by Randy Kaiser, the co-owner of Stars Cabaret, the Bridgeport-area nude-dancing club that opened in 2009.

Buddy is running as a write-in candidate against longtime Mayor Lou Ogden and challenger Jan Giunta.

Ogden has served as Tualatin’s mayor for 20 years and has run unopposed until this election, where he will face Giunta, who ran for City Council in 2012.

Kaiser has owned Buddy for the past six years and said the dog's run for public office is meant to put a smile on people’s faces and raise awareness about the lack of exciting politics in town.

“It’s lamenting the current political environment on all levels,” Kaiser said. “Certainly, the most distressing thing about today’s political environment is voter apathy and that goes hand in hand with a lack of involvement in city government. You have unopposed offices in the community for years. It's a fun thing to do to bring attention to this issue.”

Randy Kaiser opened the Tualatin nude dancing club in 2009.

Kaiser, who operates four Stars clubs across Oregon, with locations in Beaverton, Tualatin, Bend and Salem, said the community has been largely supportive of Buddy’s run for office.

“Everything I had heard has been positive, so far,” Kaiser said. “I hope people take it in the good nature that it’s intended.”

Whether it’s meant as a joke or not, Kaiser said he intends to treat Buddy as a real candidate for the position.

“We’re just getting started,” he said. “This is our first exposure, but we intend to be involved in numerous issues, and we’ll be making the investments from signs to campaign buttons. We’ll make a sincere effort to bring the issue to the forefront.”

Kaiser and Capka handle Buddy’s campaign, but Kaiser said he mostly stays on the sidelines. He refers to himself as Buddy’s “political adviser.”

All campaign contributions will go to Oregon Dog Rescue, a nonprofit dog shelter in Tualatin.

Despite Buddy’s run of office, Kaiser said he has no plans to ever seek the office himself.

“I don’t think that’s for me,” he said. “We like to hide behind dogs, instead.”

On the campaign trail

• To kick off his campaign, Buddy will be walking at Oregon Dog Rescue’s 2014 Paws for a Cause dog walk and fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m. at Tualatin PetSmart, 7029 S.W. Nyberg St.

• Buddy also hosts a free taco bar on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. at Stars Bridgeport to meet with constituents, Kaiser said.

"People can come and talk about the pressing issues," Kaiser said. "We want people to see how Buddy feels about these things."

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