Sean Duffy has gone from "Real World" castmember to political power player — and is happy to switch up his role in the public eye.
Duffy, who shot to reality-TV fame as a 25-year-old lumberjack on MTV's "The Real World: Boston" in 1997, was elected to Congress on Tuesday in his home state of Wisconsin. Now the former district attorney is ready to effect change via his spot in the U.S. House of Representatives. Duffy spoke to MTV News on Thursday (November 4) about why he decided to run for office.
"I decided to get in when Congress passed a nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill," Duffy said. "[Previous Wisconsin] Congressman Obey, he's the one who actually authored and helped shepherd through Congress that bill. I just believe that government borrowing and spending doesn't lead to economic prosperity, growth or sustainable jobs. I know that it comes from the private sector, people who invest in their businesses and ideas. That was really the prompting that pushed me in the race."
Duffy said one of the issues he plans to tackle is the country's financial weaknesses.
"We need to work on our budget. This last year, we didn't pass a budget. We [had] a $1.3 trillion debt last year, $1.4 trillion the year before. Our national debt is $13.7 trillion. [That's] over $43,000 for every man, woman and child," Duffy said. He added that spiraling debt is saddling future generations with difficult obligations. "Our sixth child, MariaVictoria, when she was born before any of us could hand MariaVictoria to my wife Rachel, Uncle Sam stepped in and handed her a bill for $43,000."
Duffy added that other initiatives include working "on pro-growth policies that will help our small businesses fire back up and expand and grow." Duffy also said President Obama's much-debated health care initiative is already having an adverse affect on generating employment.
"What I keep hearing from our job creators is that there's too much uncertainty, coming from government, and it's come from this health care bill," he said. "People don't know what it's gonna cost to hire another employee because they don't know the cost of health care."
As a former sports competitor, prosecutor and TV star, Duffy has a varied range of experience to pull from for his political career. While his "Real World" stint may have been one of his most high-profile endeavors, the congressman-elect is largely leaving his onscreen fame in the past.
" 'The Real World,' as it applies to my life now, is I met my wife ['Real World: San Francisco' alum Rachel Campos] by way of that show. For that, I am eternally grateful. However, in regard to my campaign and whatnot, it hasn't had a large impact, just except for the fact that the national media likes to throw it out there. But in regard to my campaign and talking about ideas, it hasn't really come into play much, except for the stories that are referenced by folks," he said. "It is a chapter, but I guess you can say we've turned the page."
What do you think of a former "Real World" star landing in Congress? Let us know in the comments!