Steve Berke is using his comedic skills to try and get elected as Miami Beach Mayor.
Berke, a comedian and former reality show contestant, who in true South Beach form, isn't running on the platforms of the Democrat or Republican party. He has asked for votes on the "After Party" ticket. Election Day is Tuesday.
"So if you don't want your taxes as high as my blood alcohol level right now, come joining our party," Berke said in a YouTube video announcing his candidacy. "We're not the Republican party. We're not the Democratic party. We're the after party."
Berke, 30, has cameras recording everything he does in order to pitch his mayoral candidacy as a reality show, The New York Times reported. And his campaign fliers display images of him with a housecat he borrowed from a friend "because I don't have a wife and children."
Berke's campaign included a fundraiser that Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James attended. His plan to attempt to decriminalize marijuana in which people caught with small portions of the drug would be fined and not arrested has increased his popularity, according to the Times.
"I'm the anti-politician," Berke said, according to the Times. "Maybe I can be the first person ever to use comedy to win an election."
His main opponent is a two-term, 72-year-old Cuban-American Mayor Matti Herrera Bower who has advertised her campaign with her experience in office and being a grandmother, the Times reported. She is Miami's first female mayor, first Hispanic mayor, and she is a Democrat.
"This will be my last term," Ms. Bower assured voters at a recent neighborhood meeting, the Times reports. "So I ask to be voted in again."
Despite his antics, Berke boasts an impressive resume. He graduated from Yale, won two national tennis championships and retired due to an injury. Shorty after, he appeared on "The Rebel Billionaire," a Fox reality show that featured corporate mogul Richard Branson, the Times reported.
After the reality show, Berke began stand-up comedy and started appearing in parody videos in which he gained a large YouTube following.
Berke's advisor is veteran Republican political consultant Roger J. Stone Jr., and he is doing so for free, according to the Times.
"His being a comedian is an asset," Stone Jr. said, the Times reports. "Politics is entertainment. If your campaign isn't entertaining, you aren't getting any votes."
Polls open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and if there is no majority winner in most of the races, the runoff date is set for Nov. 15.
Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is one of the familiar faces hoping to maintain their foothold in South Florida politics come Election Day.
Sarnoff faces four challengers in the race for District 2: Donna Milo, Kate Callahan, Michelle Niemeyer and Williams Armbrister. The other election in Miami is in Commission District 1, pitting incumbent Willy Gort up against Shawn Selleck.
There is also a fierce race for the top job at Hialeah City Hall. Current Mayor Carlos Hernandez faces political veterans Raul Martinez and Rudy Garcia. George Castro is also running.