Clint Eastwood: Bringing the Community Together

You may know him best as Dirty Harry but in 1986 Clint Eastwood ran for mayor of the small Californian city Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1986 and his campaign and platform was anything but dirty.
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You may know him best as Dirty Harry but in 1986 Clint Eastwood ran for mayor of the small Californian city Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1986 and his campaign and platform was anything but dirty.

Clint Eastwood stands with Carmel resident and Eastwood-for-Mayor supporter Bruna Odello outside the Mission Ranch Inn. (April 7, 1986). (Getty)

Clint Eastwood stands with Carmel resident and Eastwood-for-Mayor supporter Bruna Odello outside the Mission Ranch Inn. (April 7, 1986). (Getty)

In a way, "bringing the community together" is not a statement one would naturally associate with Clint Eastwood. More often than not, when we consider the Hollywood actor, we can't help but think along the lines of: "What you have to ask yourself is, do I feel lucky. Well do ya, punk?" And contrary to what you might believe, when Mr. Eastwood ran for mayor of the small Californian city Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1986, his campaign and platform was anything but dirty.

Although Clint grew up in San Francisco, he eventually found a home in Carmel. After winning what he deemed an unjust battle with the local government to erect a building in the downtown area that would help the community, Clint decided he'd take a stab at local politics. He ended up winning 72 percent of the vote, a margin that earned him a personal congratulatory call from then President Ronald Reagan. He did this without giving any interviews to the national press, barely any paid advertising, and by staying closely involved with the Carmel community. His campaign slogan was "Bringing the Community Together." Running up to his political career, Clint had been in about 50 movies and almost 216 episodes of the TV show Rawhide. Apparently, Hollywood was too much in his blood to stay away too long: He only stayed one term as mayor before returning to acting full time.