Antonio Sabato Jr. is running for U.S. Congress from his home state of California.
As a pro-Trump Republican, he will try to unseat incumbent Democrat Julia Brownley in the state’s 26th congressional district in the Ventura County area. Both Sabato and Brownley are residents of Westlake Village in the district.
The previous apolitical actor/producer and former Calvin Klein model is perhaps best known for his role as Jagger Cates on the daytime soap opera General Hospital and appearing on the nighttime soap Melrose Place. Sabato Jr. also competed on Season 19 of Dancing with the Stars in 2014, and has appeared in several reality TV shows, as well as acted in various scripted films.
Born in Rome, Italy, the former soap star moved to Los Angeles with his family at age 13. He became a U.S. citizen in 1996.
As a Trump supporter, he subsequently spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last July when the former New York real estate mogul received the GOP presidential nomination on his way to winning the White House.
According to People, Sabato filed the necessary paperwork yesterday with the Federal Elections Commission to launch his campaign.
He has not yet personally confirmed his political aspirations, however, other than a cryptic tweet to his 1 million-plus followers about pursuing goals with passion and conviction.
Whatever you decide to do in life , Do It with passion & conviction 2 be continued .. ????????
— Antonio Sabáto Jr (@antoniosabatojr) May 8, 2017
GOP strategist Charles Moran told the Los Angles Times that Antonio Sabato Jr. is definitely running for Congress. “Being a Republican and with proximity to the White House and Republican leadership, he’s going to be able to get more done — being in the majority, with his notoriety, for the residents of the 26th [Congressional] District,” said Moran.
“Being a Republican and with proximity to the White House and Republican leadership, he’s going to be able to get more done — being in the majority, with his notoriety, for the residents of the 26th [Congressional] District,” said Moran.
“Republicans consistently won the district from 2002 to 2012, the first election after redistricting changed the borders and population of the district,” the LA Times noted.
Moran also told CNN that President Trump inspired Sabato, 45, to seek elected office.
“His strategist, Jeff Corless, said it’s ‘clear the electorate is frustrated with the professional politicians and the failed government bureaucracy,'” the Washington Post reported about Sabato’s run for the U.S. House seat in California.
In March, Sabato denounced the Snoop Dogg video in which the rapper shot a clown dressed up as President Trump, describing it as disgusting. During that interview, he revealed to One America News Network anchor Stephanie Hamill that he was seriously considering running for Congress.
He has also detailed in Variety about encountering difficulties finding work after 30 years in the entertainment industry because of his public Trump support. He claimed that the backlash in Hollywood against him for backing Trump was more vicious than he had ever experienced.
A former Democrat and independent before he ran for president on the Republican ticket, Donald Trump regularly mixed with celebrities, and they with him, during his long, pre-politics career in the media spotlight. Attitudes toward Trump hardened among the show business community for a variety of reasons once he officially entered the presidential contest and particularly as he competed one-on-one with celebrity favorite and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
In the run-up to his convention speech, Sabato Jr. explained to People that “it is refreshing to have a candidate like Trump who is so honest about his feelings because he speaks for many of us when he says we are in a bad place…I have never been a Republican or Democrat…I am an American.”
Sabato sparked controversy in a convention interview when he accused President Obama of being a Muslim. See the footage embedded below.
Given the strong Democrat voter registration advantage there, Hillary Clinton carried the 26th district by 22 points in the November 2016 election against Trump, so it appears that Antonio Sabato Jr. will have his work cut out for him in winning voters to his column.
Do you think that Antonio Sabato Jr. is a viable candidate for public office, in this case, the U.S. House of Representatives?
[Featured Image by Jeff Christensen/AP Images]