Once a star on the reality TV show 'Survivor' -- Rupert Boneham is now trying to win more than a monetary prize. He's stepping away from desolate islands and into the political field to take a shot at becoming Indiana's next leader. He is facing a huge challenge against two candidates with high profile names in Indiana: republican Mike Pence and democrat John Gregg.
Boneham says 'Survivor' gave him the confidence to run for governor. "It was the best empowerment that I have ever been through. It tests you to your body, to your core. I know that I will be a good governor," Boneham tells Eyewitness News.
Boneham is the libertarian candidate in the race for Indiana Governor. He says he realizes he's somewhat of an 'untraditional' candidate. Just take a look at his tie-dyed campaign shirts. It's the style he became know for during his time on the reality television show.
"I am not the career politician that has the slick answers. I don't have the 15 second sound bites. But I do have the ability to do what I say and say what I mean," says Boneham.
Less government will be a key part of Boneham's campaign. He says state legislators have too much power over local government. "Any time you take that power away from the community, the community loses a voice. Anytime you add that extra layer of government in, not only do they then lose their voice, but they spend more money to have less of a voice," says Boneham.
Boneham's running mate, Brad Klopfenstein, Tavern League of Indiana Director, says he was once hesitant about Boneham running for governor. But he says his opinion quickly changed.
"Rupert is the real deal. He's genuinely the nicest guy I've ever met and he has some great ideas on how to run the state of Indiana," says Klopfenstein. "Anybody who thinks the government is too big and has gotten out of control, we're really you're only home in this campaign."
The pair says they know they'll face challenges in the race because of their libertarian status. Even still, they say they can survive this race.