11 celebrities who ran for political office not named Donald Trump.

11 celebrities who ran for political office not named Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is a full-fledged celebrity, having somehow gone from a guy who owned a bunch of buildings, to a guy who hosted a reality show, to a guy with a cameo in Home Alone 2, to a guy who costarred in a Bo Derek movie, to a guy running for president. But Trump is not the first—and probably not the last—celebrity to run for office. Here are some of his fabulous predecessors.


1. Clint Eastwood.


The Oscar-winning director of Million Dollar Baby and star of Every Which Way But Loose enjoyed his most famous political moment when he yelled at an empty chair and pretended it was President Obama at the 2012 Republican Convention. But Eastwood boasts actual political experience.

Driven by the desire to serve and to get those damn kids off his lawn, in 1986 Eastwood was elected mayor of the wealthy/artsy/seaside northern California city of Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1986 with 72 percent of the vote.


2. Clay Aiken.


Aiken didn't win American Idol—he was the runner-up to Ruben Studdard in 2003—but he was still one of the show's breakout stars. After a couple of hits, Aiken put music on the back burner, announced that he was gay, and adopted a second career as an activist for LGBT issues.

In 2014, he was the Democratic candidate for a House of Representatives seat for North Carolina. But once a runner-up, always a runner-up—Aiken lost to Republican incumbent Renee Elmers.


3. Roseanne Barr.


The sitcom star and comedian ran for the Green Party nomination for president in 2012. She announced her candidacy on The Tonight Show, along with unveiling her bumper stickers, like one saying, "Finally, a president who can't get the maid pregnant."

Barr promised some major economic reforms if elected, such as the elimination of taxes, student debt, and all money—in favor of a bartering system. (The Green Party ultimately nominated Jill Stein over Barr.)


4. Arnold Schwarzenegger.


When California governor Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 (only the second successful recall of a governor in U.S. history), a staggering 135 candidates competed to replace him. Because it was California, the ancestral homeland of celebrities, a bunch of famous people appeared on the ballot.

Among them were Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman, melon-smashing "comedian" Gallagher, and the last action hero himself: Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time one of the biggest movie stars in the world.


Schwarzenegger jingled all the way to the governor's mansion and governed California until 2011.

5. A guy from The Real World.

Sean Duffy was on the 1997 season of The Real World. That was the one in Boston where they lived in an converted firehouse and that one cast member gave a kid a sip of wine and got in trouble for it.

Duffy was there, too, but unlike other reality show stars he actually pursued a career that wasn't 25 more reality shows.


He went to law school and was appointed a district attorney in his native Wisconsin in 2002. In 2010, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

6. Jerry Springer.

Before he was the host of The Jerry Springer Show, Jerry Springer led a life worthy of a Jerry Springer Show guest.

After working on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968 (which ended when Kennedy was assassinated), Springer ran for Congress in Ohio. He lost, but in 1971 he won a spot on Cincinnati's city council.


He resigned the post in 1974 when he was busted in a prostitution sting. Take this pro tip from Springer: Never pay for a hooker with with a check. He was actually reelected anyway in 1975, and in 1977 he was elected mayor of Cincinnati.

In 1980, he ran for governor of Ohio and apologized for the prostitute thing in a campaign ad. (It didn't help, because he didn't win.)

7. Shirley Temple Black.


The legendary child star didn't much pursue a career in entertainment as an adult, choosing public service instead. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1967, but no matter. President Richard Nixon appointed her an ambassador to the United Nations two years later. She followed that up with stints as the American ambassador to both Ghana and the former Czechoslovakia.

8. One of the dudes from 98 Degrees.

After Nick Lachey and the one that won Dancing With the Stars, Justin Jeffre is probably the third-most famous member of boy band 98 Degrees (which in turn was the third-most famous boy band, after *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys).


After the boy band era ended in the early 00s, Jeffrie got into politics. He was apparently the Green Party candidate for mayor of Cincinnati in 2005, finishing in fifth place with 708 votes in the primary.

9. Waka Flocka Flame.

On April 20, 2015—that's 4/20, because he's a pothead—the "No Hands" rapper announced his candidacy for president. (He also bucked tradition and named his running mate right away: frequent musical associate DJ Whoo Kid.)


While his platform included such promises as banning dogs from restaurants and making school kids memorize his lyrics, he mainly just wanted to legalize weed.

10. Al Franken.


He was one of the original writers for SNL and was an infrequent performer on the show, too—he's probably best known for his self-help-addicted Stuart Smalley character.

A career of writing satire indirectly led to the Senate, with a stop in between writing political comedy books such as Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.


In 2008, he ran for a Senate seat as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. The election was so close a recount was required. Ultimately, Franken prevailed by just 215 votes and wasn't sworn in until July 2009, six months after all the other new senators.

11. Wyclef Jean.


As the front man for the Fugees, the Haitian-American singer/rapper made even casual fans of his music more aware of Haitian culture and politics.


After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jean was a big part of relief efforts and announced he wanted to run for president of the island nation. The Haitian government ultimately disqualified him.

For one, he didn't know French, the country's official language. Also, he wasn't a legal resident of Haiti, which is a pretty big requirement for the office.