Celebrities get involved in American politics as activists and candidates for office. The literature suggests that celebrities have many advantages over traditional political candidates. However, the case of Ben Jones, “Cooter” from The Dukes of Hazzard, suggests that fame is not enough to win elections. The political environment is the decisive factor in determining whether a celebrity candidate wins or loses an election. The South’s realignment from Democrat to Republican made it difficult for Democrat Ben Jones to succeed in a changing South. Like other celebrities that lost the fundraising battle Jones lost several bids for office. Celebrities, like Fred Grandy, that win the fundraising battle have a higher chance of electoral success.
Longoria, Richard T. (2022) "Celebrity Politics in the American South: The Case of Ben Jones." Journal of Political Science, 50(1), 7-26.
Journal of Political Science