Ben Higgins, who rose to prominence as a contestant on ABC’s The Bachelorette and as the star of the subsequent season of The Bachelor, has filed paperwork declaring his candidacy for Colorado’s House of Representatives.
Higgins will be running as a Republican against Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Pabon. Though the Denver Post reports that Higgins’ district, Colorado’s 4th, leans heavily Democratic, Pabon may be vulnerable this November as he was sentenced Tuesday to one year’s probation for driving under the influence.
A native of Warsaw, Ind., Higgins was a software salesman in Denver prior to his turn as a reality star, and moved back to that city after his Bachelor season. He is currently developing Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After, a reality show set to air this fall on the Freeform network. That show will chronicle the life and engagement of Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, the flight attendant from Oregon whom Higgins chose in the finale of his Bachelor season.
The candidacy follows the July 8 withdrawal of William B. Pinkston, a small business owner who told the Post in May that Higgins was the only Republican whose entry into the race would cause him to step aside. “He’s a great guy,” Pinkston said at the time, “and likely the only other Republican who can win.” The Post notes that Higgins only registered as a Republican in January of this year and on the qualifying deadline to run for office.
Higgins, who has yet to publicly speak about his candidacy, earned the adoration of millions of The Bachelor viewers sympathetic to his small-town, unassuming personality. He broke show protocol by expressing his love to two women: eventual winner Bushnell and JoJo Fletcher, a real estate developer from Dallas who is currently starring in the 12th season of The Bachelorette.