Update: The American Mustache Institute has pulled its endorsement of Herman Cain in light of recent sexual harassment allegations. Read more here.

Original post

Herman Cain and his mustache. (Richard Drew/AP)

No, not the Republican presidential nomination which Cain is actively seeking. (A move his mustache, we assume, supports.) The pair is up for the 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award.

Jimmy “The Rent Is Too [Darn] High” McMillian, retired astronaut Mark Kelly and over a dozen other stached gentlemen are up for the title, given out by the American Mustache Institute (AMI.) A full list of nominees can be viewed and voted for here.

“The Goulet award is not a best mustache contest but recognizes the person who best-represents or contributes to the Mustached American community over the past year,” according to the AMI.

It’s easy to see why Cain has been nominated. If elected president, the former pizza CEO would be the first president since William Howard Taft to sport this type of facial hair. Palash R. Ghosh of the International Business Times sees the potential: “If he wins the U.S. presidency, I certainly hope he doesn’t shave it off and begins a new trend of mustachioed leaders.”

Cain has tough competition in Kelly, who stood by his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as she recovered from a gunshot wound to the head. Kelly’s mustache also spent time in space this year.

The AMI is a facial hair advocacy group that’s based in silliness and charitable giving. This, for example, is on the group’s disclaimer page: “Wearing a ‘Dictator’ mustache may lead to repeated beatings.”

In reality, the AMI is trying to create buzz for its October charity event, the Stache Bash, which kicks off the group’s Movember. Donations will benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, while the group will continue benefitting mustached men everywhere.

(Hat tip to Politico’s Emily Schultheis )