Kanye West to join the presidential race? Here’s a look at 12 surprising celeb politicians

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Kanye West ruffled feathers this week when he announced on Twitter that he would be running for President. The US elections are happening on November 3, 2020, which leaves little time for West to campaign. Social media users voiced their criticism of another celebrity running for office (much like incumbent President Donald Trump). Some Americans felt that West would simply dilute the vote; after 27 Democrats and three republicans dropped out of the race, only Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden remain.

In response to West’s bid for the presidency, Paris Hilton tweeted an image of herself carrying her chihuahua in front of the White House (painted pink, of course) with the hashtag ‘Make America Hot Again’. She also posted a ‘campaign’ video to her Twitter with the tag #ParisForPresident. She claimed that Rihanna will be her running mate because she’s “talented and beautiful.” “After a lot of thought and consideration. I’ve decided the Oval Office needs some redecorating and a woman’s touch,” she wrote.

While Hilton’s tweets are likely tongue-in-cheek, a lot of celebrities have run for office over the years — including ‘American Idol’ alum Clay Aiken. The singer appeared on the show in 2003, finishing in second place. Ten years later, he decided to run for Congress. He ran for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district in 2014, and though he won the Democratic primary, he lost the general election to Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers.

Actress Roseanne Barr announced she would run for President of the United States in 2012 as part of the Green Party. However, she lost the party’s presidential nomination to Jill Stein. Stein didn’t choose Barr as her running-mate, but she said that Barr had been shortlisted. Barr also stated she would run for Prime Minister of Israel. Once an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star of the 90s sitcom ‘Roseanne’, Barr’s fall from grace has been steep, slammed for many issues, including a racist tweet she posted in 2018.

Actress Roseanne Barr announced she would run for President of the United States in 2012 as part of the Green Party. However, she lost the party’s presidential nomination to Jill Stein. Stein didn’t choose Barr as her running-mate, but she said that Barr had been shortlisted. Barr also stated she would run for Prime Minister of Israel. Once an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star of the 90s sitcom ‘Roseanne’, Barr’s fall from grace has been steep, slammed for many issues, including a racist tweet she posted in 2018.

Cynthia Nixon ran for governor of New York in 2018 but lost the September primary with 34 percent of the vote. Part of her campaign was a push for criminal justice reform and the legalization of marijuana; the ‘Sex and the City’ actress called for reparations for Black and Latino community members who had been arrested or jailed in connection with the drug.

Perhaps the most celebrity politician in the United States, Austrian-American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governer of California for eight years, from 2003 until 2011. He belongs to the Republican Party and, as of this year, is the most recent Republican to govern California.

Best known as the host of tabloid talk show ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ which is full of salacious drama, Jerry Springer had his scandalous journey into politics. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970. The following year, he was elected to the Cincinnati City Council — but he had to resign in 1974 after he ‘fessed up to soliciting a prostitute. He served as Cincinnati’s mayor for a year in 1977 and unsuccessfully went after the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio in 1982.

When ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council in 1973, a local station stopped running reruns of the ‘Star Trek’ series to avoid violating the equal-time rule, which requires broadcasters to provide equal opportunities for opposing political candidates. Also, KNBC-TV switched the premiere episode of the ‘Star Trek’ animation with an episode where Takei’s character didn’t appear, because his opponents complained Takei’s voice alone created an unfair advantage.

In 1978, when Takei was on the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, he was called away from the set of ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ to cast a tie-breaking vote for the creation of the Los Angeles subway system.

‘General Hospital’ actor Antonio Sabato Jr ran as the Republican candidate for US congress in 2018 for California’s 26th district, but he lost to incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley. Sabato Jr endorsed Donald Trump for President in 2016 and supported Trump’s call for a wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

In 2010, Haitian-American rapper Wyclef Jean confirmed that he would run for President of Haiti, but his dream of leading the country was quickly dashed. Jean had wanted to run for the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) party. But Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council turned down his bid because he had not lived in Haiti for five years before the election.

When Sonny Bono tried to open a restaurant in Palm Springs, California, he became frustrated with the bureaucracy of the local government. The singer-songwriter (and Cher’s ex-husband) decided to run for mayor of Palm Springs and won. He served from 1988 to 1992 and helped to create the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Bono unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for the US Senate in ’92. But, he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1994 to represent California’s 44th congressional district.

Best known for playing Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Steven Gomez on ‘Breaking Bad’ for five years, actor Steven Michael Quezada won the Democratic nomination for New Mexico’s Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners for District 2. He held the position for four years, starting in 2016.