No honors for Hoeven’s popular ‘stache

John Hoeven

FARGO – Despite local love for his lip garnish, North Dakota Sen.-elect John Hoeven didn’t even crack the top five in a popularity vote to crown the “Mustached American of the Year.”

Hoeven was among 19 finalists for the American Mustache Institute’s Robert Goulet Memorial award. Flavor-saver fans had been voting online since mid-October to decide who would win the honor.

Among Hoeven’s competition were an Oscar-nominated director, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a major league baseball umpire, a former NBA star point guard, Twins’ pitcher Carl Pavano and TV/radio personality Pat O’Brien.

But after garnering 22 percent of more than a half-million votes cast, Florida firefighter Brian Sheets took home the third-annual award, according to an announcement today from AMI.

AMI says “the Goulet Award is not a ‘best mustache’ contest but instead recognizes the person who best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community during the prior year.”

It’s unknown how many votes Hoeven claimed, but AMI reported the top five in this year’s competition were:

  1. Sheets  (22 percent)
  2. Syndicated columnist Jerry Zezima (17 percent)
  3. Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano (15 percent)
  4. Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten (14 percent)
  5. Entertainer Brandon Wardell (13 percent)

Back in January, The Forum chronicled the uniqueness of Hoeven’s ‘stache in a political world where a clean-shaven face often translates into public perception. The governor’s facial garb has also drawn a swooning Facebook fanbase of nearly 900 followers.

When Hoeven joins the U.S. Senate in January, he’ll be one of only a few senators who don facial hair.