‘Boy Meets World’ actor Ben Savage is running for Congress, adding to the list of celebrities-turned-politicians
Ben Savage is not the first celebrity interesting in having a political career
Ben Savage, former child star of “Boy Meets World,” announced on Monday that he is running to represent the Los Angeles, California, area in Congress.
“I’m running for Congress because it’s time to restore faith in government by offering reasonable, innovative and compassionate solutions to our country’s most pressing issues,” the actor wrote on Instagram.
“It’s time for new and passionate leaders who can help move the country forward. Leaders who want to see the government operating at maximum capacity, unhindered by political divisions and special interests.”
Ben Savage’s decision to run for office might come as a surprise, but it is not uncommon for celebrities to run for political office. There are several Hollywood stars who have campaigned for a position in the government, some of which have succeeded.
Celebrities who have run for political office
Dr. Mehmet Oz: He might be most well known for his role as celebrity doctor who rose to fame for his appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and eventually his own series — “The Dr. Oz Show.”
In 2022, Oz ran for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put America first, one who can reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom, and tell it like it is,” said Oz, per the Deseret News.
Oz lost the Senate race to John Fetterman.
Donald Trump: As we all know, Trump was president of the United States between 2016 and 2020. But before he took over the Oval Office, he was known as the host of “The Apprentice.”
He was also known for being a real estate tycoon — many of his properties are named after him, such as Trump World Tower, Trump Place, Trump International Hotel and Tower and others.
Trump plans to run for president for a third time in 2024.
“In order to make America great again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States,” he said, per Deseret News.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Between 2003-2011, Schwarzenegger served as the 38th governor of California for the Republican Party. Some of his accomplishments as governor include: increasing minimum wage while lowering the unemployment rate, improving California’s infrastructure with his Strategic Growth Plan and reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions, per the National Governors Association.
Before entering politics, Schwarzenegger had an impressive career in body building, business and entertainment. He became the youngest person to earn the Mr. Universe title at 20 and went on to win 12 more world bodybuilding titles.
He is known for his role in “The Terminator” movies, “Kindergarten Cop” and “Commando.”
Matthew McConaughey: The Texas actor considered running for governor of the Lone Star State for several years, but confirmed through a Twitter video posted in 2022 that he will not run but offer his services in other ways.
“For the past two years I’ve been working on the answer to the question of: How I can be most useful in this life going forward. Useful to myself, useful to my family and useful to the most amount of people,” McConaughey said in the Twitter video.
“As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.”
The Oscar-winning actor got politically involved last year when he spoke in support of gun legislation reform at the White House. McConaughey was born in Uvalde — the same town where 19 children and two adults were killed in a school shooting, per the Deseret News.
Kanye West: In 2020, rapper and designer Kanye West announced plans to run for president. He failed to make it onto every state ballot, and never went above 0.5% of votes in any state that he was on the ballot.
After his loss, West tweeted, “WELP KANYE 2024,” which indicates he has plans to run during the next presidential election.
West faced backlash this year after making blatantly racist and antisemitic comments, such as “I like Hitler.” Adidas, Balenciaga, Vogue and others all dropped the rapper following his slew of racist remarks.
Following the events of the past year, it seem unlikely that West can have a successful political run.
Caitlyn Jenner: Former Olympian, “Keeping up with the Kardashians” star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner has shown interest in a political career. In 2021, Jenner ran as a Republican in the California governor recall race in a bid to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, per The New York Times.
When elected Governor of California, I will CANCEL, cancel culture and wake up the woke.— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) May 27, 2021
Despite her fame as an Olympic athlete and membership in the infinitely famous Kardashian-Jenner family, her celebrity did not win her the election.
Jenner said her political campaign was “one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” per The Hill. When asked if she would run again she said, “Yes. I want to stay involved.”
Clint Eastwood: Iconic actor, director and star of Western TV series “Rawhide,” Clint Eastwood is also known for serving as mayor of the small California town Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Eastwood never planned on having a political career until an incident pushed him into action. When trying to develop business blocks on his property, the city blocked his bid — so he sued them. Eastwood realized how old-fashioned Carmel was. There were no street signs, all mail went to the central post and ice cream cones were banned from getting sold, per Far Out Magazine.
The actor ran for mayor in 1986 and won. He repealed the ice cream prohibition, saved a historic animal sanctuary and expanded the local library. By 1988, Eastwood felt his work was done and did not seek reelection, according to The Washington Post.
Shirley Temple: Before she became a U.S. Ambassador, Shirley Temple was a child actress known for her singing and dancing skills.
By the time she was 22, Temple left behind her role as “America’s Sweetheart” for a political career. She was exposed to politics while living in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Charlie Black, a Navy lieutenant commander.
“We lived in Washington, D.C., for two and a half years,” she told the military publication Stars and Stripes. “During that time I was privileged to know many people connected with the Eisenhower administration. We knew some of the joint chiefs of staff. … As happens to anyone living in Washington, you get involved in politics. You want to know more ... to do more.”
After an unsuccessful run for Congress, Temple worked in the Senate Department for two decades. She was a U.S. diplomat, U.N. delegate and U.S. ambassador to Ghana, according to The Atlantic.
Clay Aiken: “American Idol” star Clay Aiken has made multiple political attempts. He ran for congress in North Carolina in 2014. He lost.
In January 2020, the singer announced that he would make another run for Congress in North Carolina.
“Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years since I first got to share my voice with you?” tweeted Aiken, referring to his breakout status in a competitive season of “American Idol” in 2003. “That’s a long time. A LOT has changed! We need powerful voices more than ever, so I’m running for Congress. And my voice is even stronger now! ;-)”
Aiken lost again in 2022.
Can you believe it's been almost 20 years since I first got to share my voice with you? That's a long time. A LOT has changed!— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) January 10, 2022
We need powerful voices more than ever, so I'm running for Congress.
And my voice is even stronger now! ;-) #JoinTheChorushttps://t.co/aQIm8a2xuZ pic.twitter.com/xBtN2CYF30