With most major municipal elections behind them, Texas residents might feel lulled into breathing a sigh of relief in 2010, ready to settle down with whatever new officials and new policies have found their way into office. But don’t get too cozy just yet. There’s one last ballot to cast and it may surprise you. So pull up your boots, strap on your spurs, sharpen those No. 2 pencils and head on out about six miles east of Fredericksburg to Luckenbach, Texas, for their first ever mayoral race.
While mayors generally hold office in cities and towns boasting a population of 25,000 or more, Luckenbach was counted by the Texas Almanac in 2000 as only having a population of 25, but these locals aren’t about to let a simple shortage of 24,000 residents get in their way. Always one to march to the beat of is own banjo, Luckenbach has a solution for their obvious shortcomings. Instead of just limiting voters to tried and true, census proven citizens, this one-horse town will adopt an open-arms policy when it comes to politics, allowing anyone and everyone who shows up on Election Day to cast their vote for which cowboy should get the crown. After all, Luckenbach has a long history of taking in strays and with a motto like, “Everybody’s somebody in Luckenbach,” it only makes sense to give any red-blooded American, card-carrying or no, the generous opportunity to leave their mark on this little town.
Before you get too concerned, keep one thing in mind; Luckenbach’s mayor will hold office for just one day. Of course, it’s not just any day but March 27, the very day of the annual Mud Dauber Festival & Ball, which incidentally happens to coincide with Election Day. So there won’t be too much room for sticky stuff like ‘budgeting fiscal responsibilities’ or ‘overseeing municipal meetings.’ Nope, this mayor’s power will likely fizzle out somewhere between budgeting beer money and overseeing the bar.
Don’t go thinking this mayor’s getting a free ride though. According to 11-year local and write-in candidate Danny Terry, contenders must run for a full year, even if their pay-off only lasts one day. Worried it’s too late to get in on the running? Never fear; if you think you have what it takes to be the figure-head of a genuine Texas treasure, you can ride into town and post your sign next to Carmen’s and Mac’s. There are no fees to enter and everything’s on a first name basis. Just remember, it takes an unusual platform to win in a town of unusual characters like this one. Danny’s campaign slogan is, “to make sure everyone here thoroughly enjoys themselves!” Personally, I think it’s a shoo-in.
So for the next three months keep checking back at Luckenbach and follow up on your favorite candidates. Dark horse Danny Terry can be found every Saturday in nearby Albert from 1:00 to 5:00 from January 23 until February 27, playing guitar with the Picker’s Circle. He extends an open invitation to anyone that plays an instrument to come on by and join him as well as to those hungry for the scoop on his surprise candidacy. He can also be found at www.myspace.com/dannyterry2008. For more information on the Mud Dauber Festival & Ball visit Luckenbach’s official website at www.luckenbachtexas.com.