Everybody from and in Cincinnati knows this, but did you know….
In 1970, Jerry Springer ran for Congress. He failed to unseat incumbent Republican Donald D. Clancy, but garnered an impressive 45% of the vote in a traditionally Republican district. He had previously spearheaded the effort to lower the voting age, including testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of ratification of the 26th Amendment.
Springer was elected to the Cincinnati city council in 1971. He resigned in 1974 after admitting to hiring a prostitute. The episode was uncovered when a police raid on a Fort Wright, Kentucky “massage parlor” unearthed a check Springer had written for its “services”. Springer came clean at a press conference. Long-time Cincinnati newsman Al Schottelkotte pronounced Springer’s career over, but Springer’s honesty helped him win back his seat in 1975 by a landslide. In a post-election interview, Schottelkotte good-naturedly reminded Springer that he had declared Springer’s career over. Springer told the newsman, “I’m glad that you were wrong.” In 1977, he was chosen to serve one year as mayor by the City Council.
In 1982, Springer sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio. TV commercials for Springer’s campaign referenced his use of a check to pay a prostitute, saying that he was not afraid of the truth “even if it hurts”. He failed to win the Democratic party’s nomination—finishing a distant third behind former Lieutenant Governor Richard F. Celeste and Ohio Attorney General William J. Brown, and his political career was put on hold. Springer considered running for the United States Senate in 2003, but backed down due to negative associations with The Jerry Springer Show.