The rodeo clown who donned an Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair and ignited a national controversy over the summer is now the leading contender for one town’s “person of the year” award.

Tuffy Gessling, who became known as the “Obama Rodeo Clown,” is far outpacing the other six “person of the year” candidates in Sedalia, Mo., including a police drug task force and a city councilman.

Obama Rodeo Clown Leading Contender for Towns Person of the Year Award

This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair. The announcer asked the crowd if anyone wanted to see Obama run down by a bull, according to a spectator at the Aug. 10, 2013 event. State Fair officials apologized, calling the display inappropriate and disrespectful. (AP/Jameson Hsieh)

The Sedalia Person of the Year is the idea of local radio disc jockey Rob Edwards, who said the distinction should go to “the person or group that has had the most influence on the Sedalia area in the year 2013, for better or for worse.”

Voting isn’t exactly scientific — it’s through an online poll. But as of Monday morning, Gessling had more than 52 percent of the vote.

Gessling’s antics included wearing the Obama mask with a broomstick descending from his backside and an announcer asking the crowd if they wanted to see Obama run down by a bull. Gessling said his act was supposed to be “a joke,” but drew accusations of racism and even the charge that he had committed a hate crime against the president.

State fair officials apologized and permanently banned Gessling from performing at the fair again.

(H/T: Drudge Report)