This Election Day, there’s something fishy going on in Ann Arbor

The fish's prolific Twitter feed suggests he thinks he's a catch.


Justin Franz

Internet Culture

Published Nov 5, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 2:40 am CDT

From “destructive” bottom feeder to a city council candidate taking Twitter by storm, Ann Arbor’s Twenty Pound Carp has the chance to be the political comeback story of 2013.

I guess that shows you how dull this year’s election is.

Twenty Pound Carp (@TwentyPoundCarp) has launched a write-in campaign on Twitter against Ann Arbor city council candidate Jack Eaton, a Democrat running opposed in the city’s 4th Ward. The big fish, or whoever is behind the big fish on Twitter, has even gone as far as buying lawn signs in Ann Arbor. The fish launched its write-in effort on Sept. 17 with a single tweet.

“When I’m elected as a write-in candidate in the Ward 4 city council race this fall, look for some awesome changes, my friend,” the fish tweeted.

The Carp first came onto the scene a year ago when city employees removed it because it was destroying the local vegetation. It was released in the nearby Huron River, but not until after the local newspaper snapped a few photos for an article that called him “destructive” and a “common carp.” But everyone soon saw that this water creature was anything but common. In fact, it was a prolific tweeter, especially in the days following its September campaign announcement.

I figure since I have no actual feet, I don’t have to stand for anything–so I can impede everything!

— Twenty Pound Carp (@TwentyPoundCarp) September 10, 2013

“Elevated Discourse from a Bottom Feeder” is the name of the game, my fellow citizens.

— Twenty Pound Carp (@TwentyPoundCarp) October 28, 2013

A snide write-in vote is a time-honored means of political protest, but at least vote for a local and not some fictional Star Wars chump.

— Twenty Pound Carp (@TwentyPoundCarp) October 24, 2013

By Monday, the fishy candidate had gained more than 400 followers on Twitter—pretty good for an Ann Arbor city council candidate or a fish. One person not worried about TwentyPoundCarp’s social media powers was Jack Eaton, who told he thought the whole write-in campaign was funny.

“I’m amused,” he said in an article this week. “I have a sense of humor and I think it’s funny. I consider a 20-pound carp to be a substantial opponent and I wish him the best.”

So who’s behind the tweeting fish that’s even getting attention from the New York Daily News, NPR, and ABC? A late night tweet on the eve of the election may have been a hint.

And the reaction to all this is all the more surprising considering that really I’m a 72-year-old retired truck driver in Singapore, yo.

— Twenty Pound Carp (@TwentyPoundCarp) November 5, 2013

Photo via Twenty Pound Carp/Twitter

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 5, 2013, 9:58 am CST