Queens councilman Eric Ulrich announced on March 20 that he will not run for mayor of New York in the upcoming election.
If a reality TV star can get elected to the highest office in the land, why can’t a politician become a reality star?
City Council Member Eric Ulrich, a Queens Republican, who has not declared he is running for mayor but has held fundraisers, could be the next reality TV celebrity. The city's Conflicts of Interest Board gave the 31-year-old Queens native the go-ahead to appear in a reality show even if he decides to challenge Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio for his seat in City Hall.
Ulrich said the camera crew will have as much access as possible and he plans to hold nothing back.
“It’s not going to be a boring show,” hetold The New York Times. “I think it’s going to be a very funny show.”
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Ulrich said he was approached by Brad Trackman and Johnny Russo, two freelance producers. Left/Right, the New York-based production company behind Showtime’s “The Circus” and VH1’s “Mob Wives,” will partner with Trackman and Russo, The Times reported.
"This is the first step," Kevin Tschirhart, a spokesman for Ulrich,told Gothamist. "In the next couple of weeks they are going to start filming him in his office, out in the district, possibly at home, and possibly at City Hall."
"They will create a sizzle reel and a five-minute extended trailer," he continued. "The producers will then sell that to television networks. The concept is more of a documentary series, more fly-on-the-wall style. When you think of reality TV you think of people throwing drinks at people's faces."
Ulrich, who has been openly critical of de Blasio, is one of three Republicans on City Council, and would be a Republican challenging an incumbent Democrat in 2017 in a predominately Democratic city.
Ulrich wouldn't be the first mayoral candidate to campaign with filmmakers. Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, known by some as “Carlos Danger,” was featured inadocumentary on Netflixabout his run in 2013.
Not everyone is on board with Ulrich’s plans.
"Representing New Yorkers in the City Council is a tremendous responsibility which is why the Speaker banned outside income and made serving in elected office a full time job," spokeswoman for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told Gothamist. "We expect all of our members to present themselves in the appropriate and professional manner befitting of public office."
This article was originally published on Dec. 6, 2016.