UPDATE July 2018: Gavin Buckley triumphs over Donald Trump who overturns his refusal to lower flags to Maryland shooting victims after being challenged by the Australian-born Mayor. Read more here.
When the news of an Aussie getting elected to a mayoral position in an American city emerged earlier this week, my reaction was to immediately dismiss it as some kind of prank. How could anyone with a twangy Australian accent convince a bunch of stateside citizens to vote for them and win? It sounded like a near impossible task, but as we've learnt in the current US political climate, anything goes. So the story of Gavin Buckley, the aforementioned newly elected mayor, and his progression from Perth high-school dropout to political anomaly is definitely a narrative that needs a deeper dig.
Now presiding over the city of Annapolis, which is actually the capital of the state of Maryland, Gavin moved over there in the 1990s chasing his wife. A self-described bogan, he had grown up in the blue-collared suburbs of Perth and dropped out of high-school in year 10 after being expelled. The move overseas was therefore a major leap of faith, but it resulted in him becoming a successful restaurateur and a naturalised American. He then used this experience to build a political platform focused around small business and revitalizing one of the oldest cities in America.
This orientation allowed him to successfully topple the incumbent mayor, with a campaign which was all about uniting rather than dividing. It was not without its hiccups though, with poor Gavin under constant scrutiny and smearing for his background. According to an interview with the ABC, opponents would supposedly hurl statements such as "Crocodile Dundee, Gavin Buckley, says he's not going to raise taxes and that's a pig's arse" and "he's got a couple of kangaroos loose in the top paddock."
Despite this criticism, Gavin still managed to pull through and there's honestly no better embodiment for the Aussie battler. We wish him the best of luck for his upcoming term.
On the presidential side of things, check out some interesting Trump moments here to truly appreciate stateside politics.