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Utah mayor puts handlebar mustache up to vote: Save it? Shave it?

July 05, 2012|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
  • Dan Snarr, the mayor of the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, rides with wife, April, on Wednesday, July, 4, 2012, during a parade in which he put all 18 inches of his handlebar mustache up for a vote.
Dan Snarr, the mayor of the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, rides with wife,… (Trevor Snarr )

A day after Dan Snarr, 62, mayor of the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, Utah, put his handlebar mustache up for a vote during the annual Independence Day parade, the Los Angeles Times caught up with him to discuss the results.

First of all, with which party are you affiliated?

I represent the DWR party. I founded it several years ago because I'm disgusted with partisan politics in this country. It’s the "Do What’s Right" party. I’ve served since 1997, in a community of about 46,700. I love my city. I wanted to define it as a place that cares about doing the right thing.

What’s the big deal about your mustache?

I served in the special forces, Green Beret, many, many years ago. There was a couple guys who had handlebar mustaches — very small, you couldn't grow them very long — and I just became enamored of them. I’m a cowboy, and Russell and Remington [cowboy artists] had some pictures of them.

When did you start growing it, and what are its proportions now?

It’s 18 inches, end to end, and I started growing it 31 months ago.

Did you have a mustache when you were elected? I see you have one on the city Web page.

I had a small one, not a radical one. I’ve always had a mustache. But I kept looking at these cowboy pictures and I said, "I’m going to grow the best one anyone’s ever had."

How does your wife feel about the mustache? I heard she’s campaigned against it.

My wife cannot stand it. One morning she said, “You know I’m going to cut that off in the night.” And I’ve been married 39 years. She tolerates me.

What was the outcome of the July 4 parade vote?

It was more a tie than anything else. But I tell you, near the end, what really came on strong for "save" were all the floats with city employees -- they all said "save." But my wife, she had a strong voice, and she was calling out to everybody to save her from the mustache.

Wasn’t she toting oversized wooden scissors in the parade — where did they come from?

My wife went to the Chamber of Commerce, and she got the scissors I use for all the ribbon-cuttings -- these 5-foot scissors.

My son [Trevor Snarr, who appeared in "Napoleon Dynamite"] did an overlay of me on Uncle Sam saying, “I want you -- to save my stache.” Our Fire Department was out there supporting handlebar mustaches. We had a float with the big bad wolf and the three little pigs, and the wolf had a handlebar mustache.

There were all the women saying, “That’s disgusting you should shave it” and the others saying, “No, that defines America!”

Is it true this mustache is high maintenance -- lots of hair products, including Big Sexy Hair Spray?

As I grew it, I perfected a way to keep it horizontal, to shape it. I use Big Sexy Hair Spray to shape it -- and that defines it -- and then I just coat it with superglue. I can ride a Harley and get the wind going 60 or 70 miles an hour and I get off and it’s in perfect shape. It springs right back. It took me about 100 bucks of hair product to perfect it.

I hear your stache is backed by the St. Louis-based American Mustache Institute?

Yes. They have the Robert Goulet mustache of the year award, and I was one of the finalists.

Any deadline to decide the fate of your mustache?

It's an emotional thing. I'm going to keep it for the time being.

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Join Molly on Google+ and Twitter @mollyhf. Email: molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

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