Everything is crazy these days so an announcement made by a Hollywood actor stating he will run for political office in California doesn’t seem so odd. California has a history of electing former actors to office. Besides California’s most famous actor-turned-politician, Ronald Reagan, there is also Clint Eastwood and Sonny Bono, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all ran as Republicans.
The Happy Days actor and director is Anson Williams, a.k.a. Potsie Weber. He is 71 years old now and he told the Ojai city council that he will run for mayor of his hometown city.
Ojai is located about 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County. It has a population under 8,000 and is known for its boutique hotels, art galleries, and farmers’ market of local organic agriculture. Chain stores are prohibited by city ordinance.
Ojai sounds nice, except it’s in California. I’m guessing Williams isn’t going to run as a Republican, though. His most recent political activism involved a reunion with other Happy Days cast members to raise money for the Wisconsin Democrat Party and support Joe Biden’s campaign for president in 2020. The only cast member who refused to participate in raising money for Wisconsin Democrats in support of Biden was Scott Baio. His refusal to go along with the reunion was a whole thing at the time. Baio didn’t want to politicize the show. As an individual, he supported Trump.
Williams will face current Ojai Mayor Betsy Stix. The filing date is July 18 so he can formally begin his campaign then. Potsie, er, Anson said the city needs “leadership that inspires a collaborative team,” according to a local newspaper report.
Local actor-director Anson Williams announced during public comment that he will run for mayor. He said Ojai needs “leadership that inspires a collaborative team.” Candidates for all offices can formally declare candidacy July 18 by pulling papers at the City Clerk’s Office for city races, or with the county clerk for races outside the city.
Will city residents abandon the incumbent mayor for a celebrity candidate? Stranger things have happened. Ojai is a small city with only 8,000 residents. Clint Eastwood was Mayor of Carmel in the 1980s. Carmel’s reached a peak population of 4,707 by 1980. Since then it has declined and remains below 4,000. Sonny Bono was Mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992. His big accomplishment was creating the Palm Springs International Film Festival which is held every year in his memory. Palm Springs, a retirement community, is a bigger city. In 1990, the population was 40,000 and now it is more than 44,000.
Williams has the support of Henry Winkler.
You have my vote https://t.co/mU27HPLa2I
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 6, 2022
I don’t know if Winkler lives in Ojai and would be eligible to vote for his old friend, though. The tweet is probably just to show his support.
He released a memoir in 2016. Also in 2016 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He said he is cancer-free following surgery in 2017. Who knows? Perhaps the Wisconsin Democrat Party will return the favor and raise money for his campaign. Unless they are busy trying to salvage the 2022 midterm elections in their swing state.