‘Kiss the Pig’ contest set for Saturday at the fair

Ron Grant, Skip Brandt and Mark Frei

Ron Grant, Skip Brandt and Mark Frei

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Grant, Brandt, Frei are all candidates

It’s not usually OK to buy votes, but at the Idaho County Fair, anything goes. At least in the annual Kiss the Pig contest.

“This year we are honoring those in local government,” said Idaho County 4-H Program Director Susie Heckman.

And just how will they be “honored?”

“A $1 buys a vote and the one with the most votes will ‘get’ the honor of kissing the fair’s Grand Champion pig on livestock auction day, Saturday, Aug. 19,” explained Heckman.

This year’s candidates are Idaho Cottonwood City Councilman Ron Grant, and Idaho County Commissioners Skip Brandt of Kooskia and Mark Frei of Grangeville..

Votes for the candidates can be purchased at the Citizens Washington Focus (CWF) booth during the fair. Participants cast votes with $1 donations. All donations go toward the CWF 4-H project. The contest is in is seventh year. Candidates include the following:

Ron Grant said his favorite fair activity is eating Lions Club Burgers, and, of course, pigs are his favorite animals.

As far as what to look for in a grand champion pig?

“A pretty smile and long eyelashes,” he smiled.

Bacon is his favorite cut of pork but his lips are sealed on what the championship pig might weigh: “Hopefully more than I weigh — which I’m not telling,” he said.

He supports Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department, among other organizations, and, if he wins the contest, he may celebrate with a date.

“If there is any ‘animal magnetism’ between us, I might ask the pig out on a date,” he said.

What’s Skip Brandt’s favorite activity at the fair?

“Eating fair food!” said Brandt.

Brandt’s favorite animals are dogs.

“Then cats, but only to train good dogs,” he joked.

If he were judging a pig, Brandt said it would “have to look like it would make good bacon!”

Speaking of bacon? That’s his favorite part of the pig, and his guess for the weight of the grand champion pig is 289.3 pounds.

When asked why he accepted the nomination to be in the kiss the pig race, he said, “You mean I had a choice? I have learned that the better point of valor is to only say ‘Yes, Dear.’”

He added, “I support all community organizations, except the Democratic Party!”

If he wins, Brandt will celebrate by buying a large bottle of mouthwash.

Mark Frei spent five years in the 4-H program, three with lambs and two with pigs. His favorite fair event is pig fitting and showing, and his favorite animal is a pig.

What does he look for in a grand champion pig?

“Long loins,” he said. And bacon is also his favorite cut of pork.

Frei guesses the grand champion pig will weigh in at 270 pounds.

Why did he accept the nomination?

“I was roped into it,” he joked. “I wanted to raise money for 4-H.”

Frei also supports Hope Pregnancy Center.

If he wins, how does he plan to celebrate?

With a moist towelette and then some ice cream,” he said.

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