Wisconsin mayor bitten on ear by groundhog loses primary vote

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 18, 2015 4:59 PM

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin mayor who catapulted to Internet fame after he was bitten on the ear during a Groundhog Day event earlier in February has lost his seat in a primary election.

Jon Freund, who was appointed mayor of Sun Prairie in 2014, finished third among three candidates in Tuesday's primary in the Madison, Wisconsin suburb. He could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday.

Jimmy the Groundhog bit Freund's left ear as an assistant lifted the rodent up toward the mayor during a Groundhog Day celebration on Feb. 2. By tradition the groundhog is supposed to whisper a prediction that only the mayor can understand.

Freund told the crowd that Jimmy predicted spring is on the way. The mayor also pardoned Jimmy the next day in a city proclamation, drawing appreciation from Jimmy's significant other Clara, a groundhog, according to her Facebook page.

"If I were a human in your town, you would definitely get my vote," she wrote. Freund responded, "Thank you Clara for your endorsement."

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee)