Rupert Boneham, a favorite of many fans of Survivor is going to run for Governor of Indiana this year. The 47-year-old Libertarian will be seeking that party's nomination according to the Libertarian Party website.
Rupert Boneham shot to instant celebrity on the show, Survivor, in 2003 on Survivor: Pearl Islands. He placed eighth that season. Known best for his scraggly hair and huge beard, Boneham was an instant fan favorite. He also appeared on Survivor: All Stars where he placed fourth andSurvivor: Heroes Vs. Villains where he placed sixth. He received 85% of the votes cast on Survivor: America's Tribal Council and consequently won a million dollar price.
Now, he is planning on running for Indiana Governor as part of the Libertarian Party. On his website, he says, "I do not see anyone that has an understanding of what daily life is like for many Hoosiers nor anyone who appears to understand the harm that misguided government policies are doing to our communities. It is obvious that career politicians are not the answer because they are often the problem."
He goes on to say, "I have operated my charity for over 20 years without government handouts. Over time, it has become more difficult to help people because of government red tape and roadblocks. This has prompted my decision to explore bringing back the principles of hard work and self-reliance to Hoosier government." If he does win the Libertarian nomination, he will most likely be facing Democrat John Gregg and Republican Representative Mike Pence.
Boneham's decision to run for governor may surprise some people, but there is a long history of celebrities entering politics. This is usually attributed to their skill with public speaking and being on camera, but no matter what the reason, America has not seen a problem electing celebrities turned politicians in the past. Most famously, Ronald Reagan was an actor who was eventually elected president of the United States. Alan Autry, actor in In the Heat of the Night was also mayor of Fresno, CA in 2000. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now governor of California.
Shirley Temple Black, a famous child star, served as White House chief of protocol for President Gerald Ford as well as United States ambassador to the Republic of Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA in 1988 and was elected as a congressman in 1994. Clint Eastwood served as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA for two years starting in 1986. Eva Peron, a radio actress, founded Argentina's Peronista Feminist Party. The list goes on and on, but these are just a few examples. Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that a star of Survivor is taking a stab at the run for governor.
The Survivor Legacy
Unlike many of the actors and actresses elected to other positions, Boneham is not a classically trained film star. He starred on a reality television show. However, Survivor's incredible popularity has made several castaways instantly famous over the years. Debuting in May of 2000 on CBS, Survivor is a reality television game show that puts a group of strangers on a remote and unpopulated area where they have to find food, shelter, and compete in challenges to win rewards or immunity from being eliminated.
The last one standing is the winner and wins one million dollars. Boneham was not the winner of any of the seasons on which he appeared, but the fans loved him so much that they voted for him to win the million dollar prize on Survivor: America's Tribal Council. Will his popularity among Survivor fans be enough to launch him into a successful political career? Only time will tell.