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Actor known for playing 'Star Trek' Klingon elected to local office

Nov. 9, 2013 at 2:00 AM

ULYSSES, N.Y., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- An actor best-known for playing a Klingon counselor, Martok, in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," has a new role as a local elected official in New York state.

John Hertzler was elected to the town board of Ulysses on Tuesday, Gannett News Service reported. He takes office Jan. 1.

Ulysses, given the Latin name of the Greek hero Odysseus, is a town of fewer than 5,000 people near Ithaca in central New York. Hertzler, usually billed as J.G. Hertzler in acting credits, now teaches acting at Cornell University.

Hertzler is known among Star Trek fans for having played eight distinct characters in the long-running franchise, setting a record. In addition to Martok, he has portrayed another Klingon, humans and even a Vulcan.

Ulysses Town Supervisor Elizabeth Thomas said even though she and Hertzler campaigned together on the Democratic ticket she only learned of his Star Trek credentials shortly before the election.

"I knew he was an actor. I didn't know he was an actor on Star Trek. He was very modest about that," Thomas said. "It's very exciting."

Hertzler said he has no ambitions to emulate Martok, who rose to be chancellor in the Klingon empire.

"I have no designs on the presidency," Hertzler said. "But I do want to do my best in terms of serving the folks here."

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