TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) -- A group of New Jersey political activists fed up with the usual crop of political candidates announced a plan Tuesday to draft rock star Bruce Springsteen to run for the U.S. Senate as a true representative of the state.
With guidance from Doug Friedline, a former 1998 campaign aide to heavyweight-wrestler-turned-Minnesota-Gov. Jesse Ventura, the group called "Independence for New Jersey" launched a signature drive to put Springsteen on the general election ballot.
They need only 800 signatures. But there is a big problem: No one has talked to Springsteen about the idea.
Friedline was not discouraged. "It took us seven months to get Jesse Ventura to run," he said. "If Bruce Springsteen threw his hat in the ring and made a real serious run at this, I think you'd see thousands of volunteers coming out from all over the place."
Political analysts said the announcement was less a grass-roots groundswell of support for Springsteen as native son than it was an attempt by Ventura supporters to set up a third party in New Jersey.
The state Senate race currently features incumbent Democrat Robert Torricelli and three Republican candidates -- millionaire businessman Doug Forrester and state senators Diane Allen and John Matheussen -- who all face each other in the June 4 primary.
Springsteen, known as "The Boss" among rock fans, would offer a number of advantages as a political candidate, including name recognition and popularity among younger voters.
Springsteen, whose songs often celebrate the blue-collar spirit of his youth in Freehold, New Jersey, now lives in the upscale community of Rumson near the northern end of the Jersey shore. The committee tried to reach him as long ago as December but has heard nothing.
Baby we were born to run