Comedian Not Joking About Run for Miami Beach Mayor

Steve Berke promises to make Miami Beach party-friendly as part of platform

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Steve Berke insists he's serious about becoming Miami Beach's next mayor. (Published Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011)

    Despite his YouTube parody campaigning for the legalization of marijuana or his comedic news conference announcing his mayoral run -- where only NBC Miami showed up -- comedian Steve Berke says he has a serious platform as a candidate for Miami Beach mayor. 

    "I will not lie to you and I will not kiss your baby, unless I am attracted to her and she's at least 18-years-old," Berke announced.

    He says his main challenge will be convincing the public to take him seriously.

    "I'm a comedian so my job is to make people laugh, and I think that's going to be one of the great challenges of this campaign is to have people take me seriously," Berke said Monday.

    Forget thats he's downing shots on his official campaign video, or holding a bong in a music video, this Yale graduate, turned pro tennis player, turned comedian, turned politician says this is not a prank.  The 29-year-old 3rd generation Miamian is running for mayor of Miami Beach.

    "I'm running as the defender of fun," he declared. "This city needs to bring the glamour and the excitement back the way it used to be."

    That would entail bringing a casino to the city, granting a liquor license to the only gentlemen's club on the beach, and keeping the nightclubs open until 5 a.m.

    "It's a real campaign and my platform is real," he insists.

    Miami Beach's popular incumbent two-term mayor Matti Herrera Bower, who plans on running for her third and last term, says the ordinances for businesses are tough to protect the quality of life for residents. 

    She has a good sense of humor about Berke's candidacy, and says she is taking his candidacy serioulsy, though she isn't convinced his ideas will stick.

    "He will keep me young to run against a young man with fresh ideas," Bower said.

    Berke travels in his bright campaign colors: black, aqua and pink, with an entourage of models/campaigners. He insists the joke is not on you.

    "I'm absolutely serious," he said.