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SAN DIEGO – The race for the San Diego mayor’s office is heating up and some of the candidates are turning to their pets to get a leg up on the competition.

Former city attorney and mayoral candidate Mike Aguirre hopes his basset hound Winston will fetch him a few extra voters.

Mayoral candidates campaign with petsWinston J. Aguirre has joined his owner on the campaign trail and on Twitter – to “hound you for votes.”

“We have very, very serious problems, but I think what’s most important is that our next mayor be someone that is well rounded,” Aguirre said. “[You need] someone who is not just completely consumed in all of the problems, but actually has a life outside of politics.”

Aguirre’s not the only one with a dog in the fight so to speak.

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer is giving his kids’ little friends a big spotlight with his Instagram account. Every week until the election, voters can look forward to “Guineapig Mondays.”

“I think it would sway a lot of votes just because there are a lot of pet owners out there that would vote for somebody that is pro dog or cat,” said Will Gowen, a registered voter.

“I definitely think it would sway my vote,” Erin McDonald said. “Everybody falls for the cute photos of the pets.”

It’s not the first time political analyst and San Diego City Club President George Mitrovich has seen pet-campaigning. As a former press aide to Robert Kennedy, he’s used to candidates introducing their furry friends to voters.

“I would go for a golden retriever,” Mitrovich said. “I think golden retrievers really work. Collies work, people think of Lassie.”

Social media has brought a new element to campaigning. These new methods are a fun way to engage the public, but Mitrovich is reminding all candidates to remember the basics.

“You have to do everything,” Mitrovich said. “You really do have to walk precincts.”