Twelve Rock Stars Who Ran for Public OfficeThe political aspirations of Sonny Bono, Martha Reeves, Youssou N'Dour and more
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Sonny Bono ran for the mayor of Palm Springs in 1988 after getting frustrated with the city over his inability to get a permit for his restaurant. He actually won, and four years later he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate. He lost the election, but he gained enough traction with voters to win a seat in the House of Representatives during the Republican takeover in 1994. He served his until he tragically died of a skiing accident in 1998. His wife Mary Bono took over his seat, and has served in the House ever since. Few people saw this path for Sonny during his time as a pop star in the 1960s and 1970s, but the man was ambitious.