Ed Moore is back in the race. He's plotting strategy, rallying support, preparing to win.
But this time he's not the one running.
Moore, his wife Madeline and their Dachshund, Woodrow, are headed to the national wiener dog racing championships in San Diego Dec. 28.
Woodrow and the Moore's secured a berth in the Super Bowl of wiener dog racing by winning the regional title July 22 before a packed crowd at a Tucson Sidewind-ers game at Tucson Electric Park.
The regional race was thrilling.
Dogs and their owners were decked out in Wienerschnitzel T-shirts, the race series sponsor, and crowded around a small racetrack packed with onlookers.
At the starting gates of the final race stood eight owners stuffing their wiener dogs into yellow cubicles. At the finish line waited friends and family ready to urge their pooches to victory.
With the bang of a starting gun, every dog leapt out of their gate only to be greeted by a chaotic scene of screaming, pointing and urging by the crowd that caused the dogs to scatter in every direction but that of the finish line.
Every wiener but Woodrow.
Responding to the call of "Hunt!" by Madeline Moore, Woodrow sprinted on his little legs straight to the proud and surprised arms of his owner and the regional title.
Woodrow, a first-timer on the wiener-racing circuit, now finds himself preparing for the Wienerschnitzel Wiener-Nationals which will be held at half-time of the Holiday Bowl.
Ed Moore wasn't present for the regionals but was still there for Woodrow. He was kept in the loop by not one but two simultaneous cell phone conversations with friends and family at the event.
"It was great fun," Moore said. "I'm proud of my wife and Woodrow."
The Moores have had Woodrow for more than five years and said they consider him part of the family. Woodrow has recently taken up agility training at home. The Moores have an agility course with several obstacle areas that they use to give Woodrow an edge in the competition.
"I'm convinced that the agility training is what gave Woodrow the advantage," Ed Moore said.
Moore spent 12 years on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, the last four years marked by rancorous battles with other supervisors and the media. For those who remember the occasionally acerbic Moore from his political career, his cooing over a feisty canine and involvement with wiener dog racing might seem out of place.
Moore said the irony of the situation is only as deep as the misrepresentation he received from the media in the past.
"For all the rumors floating around, Ed just loves his little dog," said Judy Scrivener, a family friend of the Moores. "Now that their kids are gone, Woodrow is the apple of his eye. They are so proud of Woodrow, he's Daddy's pride," Scrivener said.
Scrivener was Woodrow's partner at the starting line. She and other friends will be wishing Woodrow the best of luck when his turn comes to run for the national title.
"If he wins, maybe we'll breed a strain of super-racing dachshunds," Ed. Moore said.