Third Parties

Libertarian-leaning Comedian Runs for Mayor of Miami Beach

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Steve Berke

For most politicians, getting caught on camera downing shots of vodka and smoking weed while surrounded by scantily clad models would destroy their election hopes. For comedian Steve Berke, that's his campaign strategy to become mayor of Miami Beach, Fla.

Running as a member of what he calls the "After Party," he hopes to oust two-term incumbent Matti Herrera Bower, a Democrat who boasts the support of local firefighter and police unions. But Berke's campaign is no joke. He's been slinging mud as only a true politician can, and he even garnered the attention of The New York Times:

With the nonpartisan election on Tuesday, the mayor, Mr. Berke and two other candidates are hitting neighborhood meetings, mailing fliers and appealing to the paltry, mostly Hispanic, mostly older 7,000 or so voters who usually turn out for an off-year election. With so few votes at stake in a four-way race, an influx of new voters — gays, clubgoers, marijuana boosters — could easily skew the outcome or at least force a runoff.

The Times is also impressed by Berke's "pedigree"—he graduated from Yale with a promising tennis career cut short by injury. 

Berke's platform is largely libertarian-friendly (though his campaign website never explicitly identifies him as such), including limited measures to decriminalize marijuana, lowering property taxes, eliminating government corruption, reforming police and firefighter pension schemes, and allowing night clubs to stay open until 5 a.m.

Berke's campaign website is here.

Reason on local government here.