Jon Gnarr, comic turned Reykjavik mayor, won't run again

Oct. 31, 2013 at 6:41 PM
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Jon Gnarr, the Icelandic comedian who ran for mayor of Reykjavik as a joke and got elected, says he will not seek a second term.

In an interview Wednesday, Gnarr told RUV, the national television broadcaster, that he is not running in next year's mayoral election. He also plans to dissolve the Best Party, which formed in 2009 as the vehicle for his mayoral run, with members encouraged to join the Bright Future Party.

"I think my time has come. If I were to do it again, I would have to become a politician and I'm not one. I'm simply not a politician, I'm a comedian," he said. ""My whole life I've been a comedian, an artist, and I get a lot out of making people happy."

A recent poll suggested Jon, who like other Icelanders goes by his first name at all times, would win if he ran again, Iceland Review reported. The Best Party had the support of 37 percent in Reykjavik, the Iceland Review reported.

In 2010, Jon won with 35 percent of the vote after campaigning on a promise to make life in Reykjavik more fun with free towels at swimming pools, a polar bear in the zoo and Disneyland in the outskirts. The Best Party won six of 15 seats on the city council, with one of the victors being Einar Orn Benediktsson, a member of the rock group Sugarcubes.

The mayor is actually elected by the city council, and Jon, as the Best Party's top vote-getter, won the position with support from his coalition partner, the Social Democratic Alliance.

As mayor, Jon dramatized his support for gay rights by marching in pride parades in drag and composing a holiday video in which he wore a Darth Vader mask and Santa hat. But he also supported dissidents around the world like Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo.

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