‘Survivor’ Star Rupert Boneham Mulls a Run for Indiana Governor

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From voted off the island to voted into office?

Rupert Boneham, the bearded reality star with a penchant for tie-dyed shirts who first appeared on 2003’s Survivor: Pearl Islands, is mulling a run for governor of Indiana.  This week, Boneham filed the necessary papers with the Indiana Election Division and plans to form an exploratory committee, though he does not expect to make a final decision on whether to enter the race for several weeks.  The 47-year-old Boneham would run on the Libertarian Party ticket.

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“I have spent my entire adult life serving my community and I see an opportunity to make a difference for Indiana,” Boneham said in a statement on his website.  “While surveying the current choices for our next Governor, I do not see anyone that has an understanding of what daily life is like for many Hoosiers nor anyone who appears to understand the harm that misguided government policies are doing to our communities.”

After his initial season, Boneham went on to appear in 2004’s Survivor: All Stars and 2010’s Heroes vs. Villains (as a hero, naturally).  During the All Stars season Boneham was chosen as fan favorite, garnering an impressive 85% of the vote.  Boneham donated some of his $1 million prize to Rupert’s Kids, the charity he founded to provide mentoring and job readiness programs to troubled youth.

Indiana’s gubernatorial election will take place in 2012.  While current Governor Mitch Daniels will exit because of term limits, the field is already crowded with Republican Congressman Mike Pence, Republican businessman Jim Wallace, and former Democratic Indiana House Speaker John Gregg.  The executive director of the Indiana Libertarian Party, Chris Spangle, told the Associated Press that Boneham would inject some fresh life into the race and “he would make the Republican and Democratic nominees work a little bit harder.”

Boneham would not be the first reality star to seek elected office.  Sean Duffy, of The Real World: Boston, was elected to Congress in 2010, while numerous others have mounted unsuccessful campaigns.

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Allison Berry is a contributor at TIME.  You can continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.