The Mayor Runs for Re-Election is the twenty-third episode of the third season.


Schemer helps Mayor Flopdinger improve his image for the election against Richard Richhouse.

Cast and Characters

Main Cast

The Flexitoon Puppeteers

Guest Starring

Mentioned Characters

Thomas Stories

James is still learning his way around the railroad. However, he is acting up a bit when he blows steam at Sir Topham's top hat. After double heading a passenger train with Edward, Sir Topham Hatt warns James to behave or he will be painted blue. James does not take it to mind, and is so rough with his coaches that he makes a hole in a brake pipe. The only solution to the problem was with a newspaper and a passenger's bootlace, and James carries on, knowing he will be in a lot of trouble.

James is left in the shed for causing so much trouble with the coaches and the bootlace, but after apologizing to Sir Topham Hatt for his bad behavior, he is allowed out to pull freight cars. They try to make things difficult for him, including breaking away on Gordon's hill, but James carries on, and Sir Topham Hatt praises him for his efforts.

Jukebox Band Segment Song

  • Hurray For The Railway


  • Billy Twofeathers and Dan Jones do not appear in this episode.
  • Richard Richhouse resembles the 37th president of the United States Richard Nixon.
  • "Meet the Kids" may be a play on the NBC political commentary/interview program "Meet the Press"
  • Richhouse was played by actor Richard Dixon (James LaRoe), a Nixon look-alike. The episode originally aired without incident in January 1993 with at least two additional repeats afterwards that did not draw undue attention. By unfortunate coincidence, the episode was rebroadcasted on April 27, 1994, the day of former President Nixon's funeral. According to a Washington Post article filed the following day, an apology was given by PBS after receiving a number of phoned-in complaints.
  • In the same April 28, 1994 Washington Post article, co-creator and executive producer Rick Siggelkow provided some additional insight and clarification about the episode. "The intent was not to make fun of him [Mr. Nixon] on the show" and at the episode's conclusion, "Richhouse gives us a very strong, positive speech about why it's important to be in public life, to vote and to vote for someone who cares about people. There was no political reason for choosing Nixon. We considered [former New York mayor] Ed Koch because he was tenacious. I saw Nixon as almost a folklore figure - there was something that just made him seem like the logical one to be in the episode. He's not the villain of the peace by any means."
    • This episode was also pulled from airwaves nationwide in 1994 following an incident where PBS stations WETA and WNET broadcasted the episode on the day of Richard Nixon's funeral, allegedly as a tribute to the deceased president.
  • The Thomas stories are listed in reverse order in the end credits.


  • When Mr. Conductor is introducing James Learns a Lesson, he states that James was going too fast with the freight cars, but James was pulling a passenger train, not a freight train.


  • Midge Smoot (after Richhouse's speech): Well, he must know what he's talking about, I don't understand a word he's saying!
  • Mr. Conductor (struggling with the balloon): This is what you get when you lose control of your own hot air, you get all puffed up just like some of those politicians around here!



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