BARRINGTON, N.H. – The road to the White House is filled not only with presidential candidates, but plenty of colorful characters standing on the shoulder, hoping to get in on the action. Bill Higgins and his goat are two of them.

For years, he has brought a goat to meet presidential candidates. And Sunday, he made his first foray onto the 2016 campaign trail, hoping he and the goat would meet Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).


“I judge the candidate by how they react to the goat,” he said. Cruz, like all the other candidates chasing supporters here this weekend, hasn't officially declared that he is running.

Higgins and the goat, Izak, stood outside in a steadily falling snow. Cruz walked by and said hello, but did not pet the goat. Higgins decided to wait.

He has waited for candidates before, almost always outside in the elements. There is a goat involved.

Izak and Higgins are well-known in New Hampshire's seacoast area. They both gained a level of infamy last election cycle when Izak nipped presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

"He just turned around and nip-nip-nip,” Higgins told The Post in 2012.

Higgins has been taking a goat to meet presidential candidates for the past 15 years. Before Izak he brought Binx the goat, who died five years ago. Binx and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "hit it off" in 2008, Higgins said. The goat also meets local and statewide candidates.

Izak and Higgins tried to see former Gov. Jeb Bush a few days ago, but weren't able to connect. Higgins works at the University of New Hampshire and said he only has time to meet candidates on weekends. So Higgins and Izak, who had a visor wrapped around his horns, waited for Cruz. Higgins predicted that they would "hit it off."

Hours later, Cruz stepped outside into the falling snow. He said  hello again, but again didn't come near the goat. He instead got into a car to head to his next event. Higgins looked confused.

"He'll be back," he said.