Sean Duffy becomes the first Real World cast member elected to Congress

Lumberjack, prosecutor, and The Real World Boston cast member Sean Duffy has been elected to Congress. After receiving 52 percent of the vote in Wisconsin’s seventh district, he will become one of the 435 voting members of the House of Representatives and part of the new Republican majority. Yes, 1/535th of our legislature is now controlled by a man who met his wife on the very first season of the Challenge, then called Road Rules: All-Stars.

As funny as this is to joke about, this is actually evidence of what should happen, because cast members should have ambition and lives outside of the show. Back when Sean was a cast member, they did. He was an aspiring lawyer who went on to become a district attorney, and later considered running for Congress although in 2003, he decided against it. And Sean did not use his fame to get elected; if anything, it was the opposite, since he was still haunted by the association.

Sean, who has six kids with The Real World San Francisco cast member Rachel Campos, was a conservative Republican back then, in 1997, when the series aired, and he’s a conservative Republican now, so while the show may not have changed him, at least he’s been consistent. And among the other cast members filling the politically or socially conservative slot in the cast, Sean was perhaps among the least obnoxious and thus the least memorable in terms of his politics, and is probably best remembered as the lumberjack. However, a recap of that season reminds us that he and Kameelah fought about race in one episode in which, according to MTV, “Sean tells Jason that Kameelah is racist and compares her to Hitler.”

Here are two of Sean’s more amusing campaign ads, which take overly simplistic and very typical conservative political arguments and illustrate them in an amusing way:

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


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Shark Tank

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.