Unlike New York mayoral races, in which celebrity endorsements are as ubiquitous as actors waiting tables, Washington’s have traditionally boasted little in the way of star power.
Until now, that is — Andy Shallal, the restaurateur/activist who launched his bid for city hall in November, is getting a boldface boost from actor Danny Glover. The “Lethal Weapon” star is hosting a Saturday fundraiser at Shallal’s Adams Morgan home. Glover is also slated to be the “special guest” at the candidate’s town hall in Ward 8 later that night.
The two men first met, Shallal tells us, at a Washington event for TransAfrica, the nonprofit of which Glover is a board member. They hit it off, and bonded during the last few years over a shared interest in issues involving the minimum wage and restaurant workers.
Shallal recalled bumping into Glover recently at one of his locations of Busboys and Poets cafes. “He said ‘I heard you’re running for mayor — let me know what I can do.’”
So Shallal, who must face a wide field of established candidates for the Democratic nomination, decided to take him up on the offer.
Shallal insists he isn’t worried that a Hollywood import will alienate local voters unused to outsiders’ interest — after all, he notes, he and Glover met as a result of their shared work on good causes, not on a red carpet or at the Chateau Marmont bar.
To be fair, most of the celebs who get involved in Big Apple politics happen to be New Yorkers, too (like Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, and Russell Simmons, who all endorsed Mayor Bill De Blasio). But Washington has long been willing to adopt some of Gotham’s trends.
So maybe celebrity endorsements will turn out to be the new cronut?
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