Steven Seagal teases run in Russian gubernatorial race

September 26, 2018

Steven Seagal has aspirations of running for office in Russia, the Michigan-born action-movie star revealed Wednesday, but he’s likely out of luck unless he considers renouncing his United States citizenship.

The “Under Siege” actor told reporters that he was interested in running for governor in Primprye, a federal district in Russia’s Far East where the results of a recent gubernatorial election were declared invalid due to widespread violations and rescheduled for later this year.

“My father’s family is from here,” Mr. Seagal said during the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival in Vladivostok, state-owned media reported. “Every time I come here, I want to see more of the Primorsky Krai and become your governor.”

Mr. Seagal, 66, was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, and last month he was named Moscow’s envoy to the United States “on issues of Russian-American humanitarian ties.”

Russian nationals who hold citizenship with another country are ineligible to become governor, however, meaning Mr. Seagal would have to surrender his American citizenship in order to legally run for office and win, state media reported.

Russia’s Central Election Commission ruled earlier this month that a Sept. 16 runoff election between Primorsky gubernatorial hopefuls Andrei Tarasenko and Andrei Ischenko had been marred by “serious violations” and has been rescheduled for December.

Anar Reiband, Mr. Seagal’s agent, said later Wednesday that the actor was “half-joking” about entering the race, government-funded media reported.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, a different American-born celebrity naturalized by Russia was elected to office in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow. Jeff Monson, a Minnesota-born mixed martian artist, was elected Sept. 9 to the Krasnogorsk council of deputies, Reuters reported.

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