‘He-Man’ gets approval to run on special Senate election ballot in Florida — no, really

A special Senate election ballot in Florida will probably raise some eyebrows and trigger a few feminists.

Random “He-Man.” Photo via WikiCommons courtesy Gage Skidmore.

The Sept. 26 ballot for the Senate District 40 special election in Miami will include “He-Man” as a candidate, according to the Miami Herald. No, the brawny comic book and animation hero did not take a sudden interest in politics, though anything is possible these days.

Christian “He-Man” Schlaerth qualified Tuesday to join the race to replace former state senator, Frank Artiles, who resigned earlier this year.

State rules allow the use of nicknames on ballots and Schlaerth filed a sworn affidavit to back up his, which he told the Miami Herald has been used for years by his rugby teammates after he joined the University of Miami’s college team in 2005.

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“In rugby tradition, we have nicknames. Your teammates usually give it to you,” Schlaerth said. “I showed up to practice, and I was the biggest, strongest guy on the team at the time.”

In a May 2017 newsletter for the German American Social Club, which he provided to state officials, “Christian ‘He-Man’ Schlaerth” is listed as a candidate for the board.

“It’s how I get introduced to people a lot,” Schlaerth said. “My campaign manager, he didn’t know my name was Christian for the first six weeks I knew him.”

Campaign manager David Neil Jones, who met Schlaerth in June 2016, backed up the candidate’s words.

“I was introduced to him as ‘He-Man,’ call him by that nickname and can affirm that he is generally known by that nickname,” Jones wrote in an affidavit filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

For now, voters will have to trust that “He-Man” is real as Schlaerth did not provide the Herald with a candidate  photo, explaining that he has not yet posed for a professional portrait.

An adjunct sociology professor at Barry University, Miami Dade College and the University of Miami, Schlaerth, who is originally from New York,  is running without party affiliation although he is a registered Democrat.

“I’m running because I care,” the 36 year-old said. “The other candidates are all career politicians. I’ve adopted Miami as my home, and I really do care about the people in my district.”

Schlaerth joins other qualifying candidates in the South Florida Senate district race to replace Miami Republican Artiles who resigned after allegedly using a racial slur and vulgar language with colleagues. He explained that he is running as an “anti-establishment” candidate,

“But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m crazy. I’m trying to bring something fresh to the state Senate,” he said.

Schlaerth plans to “fight for the worker” and has pledged not to accept money from corporate donors, running his campaign on the He-Man comics slogan, “We have the power.”

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“Being an elected official means you’re a public servant,” he said. “I’m not doing this to enrich myself.”

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