Published August 13, 2013
Does "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson have his sights on Congress?
According to a new report, Republican strategists are suddenly interested in recruiting Robertson to run for an open congressional seat in Louisiana. The speculation follows GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander announcing his retirement from Congress last week, as a result of his frustration with Washington gridlock.
A special election to fill the seat is scheduled for Oct. 19.
The bearded, 41-year-old Robertson co-stars in the hit A&E reality show and is a self-described “redneck millionaire.”
"My boys want to run Willie Robertson for the seat," an outside adviser to House GOP leadership told The Washington Examiner, which reported on the interest in a Robertson bid.
That's not to say the wealthy reality TV star would even want to run. Officially, party officials are staying mum on the idea. The state Republican Party did not return a request Tuesday for comment. And a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee declined to comment.
"I'm kinda busy right now," Robertson told Fox News on Tuesday, in response to questions about whether he would consider an invitation to run.
The House seat serves Louisiana’s 5th District, which includes the city of Monroe, headquarters for the Robertson-led Duck Commander and Buck Commander hunting and game call companies.
State Sen. Neil Riser and Alexander's chief of staff, Adam Terry, are also reportedly interested in running for the seat, in the Republican-leaning district.
While Robertson’s immediate name recognition and wealth would make him an attractive political newcomer, he joins a long list of Hollywood types dangled in front of voters – from actor and Democrat Alec Baldwin, whose name is mentioned in almost every election cycle, to actress Ashley Judd, who just months ago was being touted as a possible Democratic challenger to Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. She did enter the race.
Should Robertson decide to run and win, though, he would join a long list of celebrity politicians who made the transition to politics -- from two-term President Ronald Reagan, a former actor, to pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, who as a Reform Party candidate was elected as Minnesota governor and served one term.