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A star candidate refers to a high-profile individual who has been recruited as a candidate by a political party. Star candidates have usually excelled in fields outside politics such as academia, business, the media, journalism and/or sports. They are also either retired high-profile politicians who have been lured back into politics or a big-city mayor or provincial premier/state governor who has been convinced to enter federal politics, or former politicians that have been lured to run at another level to attain high-profile positions at that level.
- 1 Canada (federal-level)
- 2 Canada (provincial-level)
- 3 United States (federal-level)
- 4 United States (state-level)
2015 federal election
- Bill Blair, Liberal, (Scarborough Southwest), (Former Police Chief of the Toronto Police Service). Elected.
- Bob Bratina, Liberal, (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek), Former Mayor of Hamilton and radio host. Elected.
- G. Daniel Caron, NDP, (Louis-Saint-Laurent), former Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine. Defeated.
- Jim Carr, Liberal, (Winnipeg South Centre), Former President and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, Former Manitoba MLA for Crescentwood and Fort Rouge. Elected.
- Kent Hehr, Liberal, (Calgary Centre), Former Alberta MLA for Calgary-Buffalo. Elected.
- Jennifer Hollett, NDP, (University—Rosedale), Former MuchMusic VJ. Defeated.
- Ahmed Hussen, Liberal, (York South—Weston), National President of the Canadian Somali Congress. Elected.
- Darshan Kang, Liberal, (Calgary Skyview), Former Alberta MLA for Calgary-McCall. Elected.
- Andrew Leslie, Liberal, (Ottawa—Orléans), Former Commander of the Canadian Army and Chief of the Army Staff (2006-2010), Retired Canadian Lieutenant General. Elected.
- Linda McQuaig, NDP, (Toronto Centre), journalist and former Toronto Star columnist. Defeated.
- MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal, (Kildonan—St. Paul), Former Manitoba Minister of Industry, Trade and Mines and Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade, Former Manitoba NDP MLA for St. James and Minto. Elected.
- Gord Miller, Green, (Guelph), Former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Defeated.
- Seamus O'Regan, Liberal, (St. John's South—Mount Pearl), Former CTV National News Correspondent, Former Co-Host of Canada AM. Elected.
- Jo-Ann Roberts, Green, (Victoria), Former Host of CBC's All Points West. Defeated.
- Dianne Watts, Conservative (South Surrey—White Rock), Former Mayor of Surrey. Elected.
- Jody Wilson-Raybould, Liberal, (Vancouver Granville), Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations. Elected.
2011 federal election
- Robert Chisholm, NDP, (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour), former leader of the Nova Scotia NDP and former Leader of the Opposition. Elected.
- Tyrone Benskin, NDP, (Jeanne-Le Ber), Actor. Elected.
- Larry Smith, Conservative (Lac-Saint-Louis), former Montreal Alouettes running back, former commissioner of the Canadian Football League, and former president and publisher of the Montreal Gazette. Defeated.
- Martin Cauchon, Liberal, (Outremont), former Minister of Justice. Defeated.
- Romeo Saganash, NDP, (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou), former Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees. Elected.
- Nycole Turmel, NDP, (Hull—Aylmer), former National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Elected.
- Chris Alexander, Conservative (Ajax—Pickering), former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan. Elected.
- Andrew Cash, NDP, (Davenport), Musician. Elected.
- Peter Fonseca, Liberal, (Mississauga East—Cooksville), former Olympic marathon runner and Ontario Minister of Labour. Defeated.
- Paul Okalik, Liberal, (Nunavut), former Premier of Nunavut. Defeated.
- Joe Handley, Liberal, (Western Arctic), former Premier of the Northwest Territories. Defeated.
Canadian federal by-elections, 2010
- Julian Fantino, Conservative (Vaughan), Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. Elected.
- Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal, (Winnipeg North), Manitoba Liberal MLA. Elected.
Canadian federal by-elections, 2009
2008 federal election
- Justin Trudeau, Liberal, (Papineau) son of former Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau. Elected.
- Jean Dorion, Bloc Québécois, (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher), President of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Elected.
- Eric Hoskins, Liberal, (Haldimand—Norfolk), President of the War Child. Defeated
- Peter Kent, Conservative (Thornhill), former anchor for Global News, 1970s anchor of The National, former foreign correspondent. Elected.
- Gerard Kennedy, Liberal, (Parkdale-High Park), former Ontario Minister of Education and a candidate for Liberal Leadership. Elected.
- Briony Penn, Liberal, (Saanich—Gulf Islands), environmentalist. Defeated.
- Michael Byers, NDP, (Vancouver Centre), Academic, Author, and CBC Commentator. Defeated.
- Calvin Johnston, Liberal, (Palliser), former Regina police chief. Defeated.
- Marc Garneau, Liberal (Westmount—Ville-Marie), astronaut, head of Canadian Space Agency, first Canadian in space. Elected.
- Thomas King, NDP, (Guelph), novelist, broadcaster. Defeated.
- Anne Lagacé Dowson, NDP, (Westmount-Ville-Marie), CBC Montreal broadcaster. Defeated.
- David Sparrow, NDP, (Don Valley West), Actor. Defeated.
Canadian federal by-elections, 2008
- Joan Beatty, Liberal, (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River), former Saskatchewan NDP MLA and Cabinet Minister. Defeated
- Bob Rae, Liberal, (Toronto Centre) former Ontario NDP Premier of Ontario, Liberal leadership election 3rd place finisher. Elected
- Joyce Murray, Liberal, (Vancouver Quadra), former BC Liberal MLA and Cabinet Minister. Elected
- Martha Hall Findlay, Liberal, (Willowdale), prominent lawyer and Liberal leadership candidate. Elected
Canadian federal by-elections, 2007
- Thomas Mulcair, NDP, (Outremont), former Quebec Liberal MNA and Minister of the Environment. Elected.
- Jocelyn Coulon, Liberal, (Outremont), academic, journalist, political analyst. Defeated.
- Denis Lebel, Conservative, (Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean), former mayor of Roberval. Elected.
- Chris Axworthy, Liberal, (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin), former NDP Member of Parliament and former Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan. Defeated.
- Allan Cutler, Conservative, (Ottawa South), original whistle-blower in the sponsorship scandal, exposing corruption in the Liberal government. Defeated.
- Tony Clement, Conservative, (Parry Sound—Muskoka), former Ontario Minister of Health and Conservative leadership candidate. Elected.
- Michael Ignatieff, Liberal, (Etobicoke—Lakeshore), renowned Harvard University professor, author and public intellectual. Elected.
- Peter Kent, Conservative, (St. Paul's), former anchor for Global News, 1970s anchor of The National, former foreign correspondent. Defeated.
- Paul Summerville, NDP, (St. Paul's), former bank vice-president and chief economist. Defeated.
- Marc Garneau, Liberal, (Vaudreuil-Soulanges), astronaut, head of Canadian Space Agency, first Canadian in space. Defeated.
- Lawrence Cannon, Conservative, (Pontiac), former Quebec Minister of Communications. Elected.
- Tina Keeper, Liberal, (Churchill), Gemini Award-winning actress. Elected.
- Edward Schreyer, NDP, (Selkirk—Interlake), former Governor General of Canada and former Premier of Manitoba. Defeated.
- Jim Flaherty, Conservative, (Whitby—Oshawa), former Ontario Minister of Finance. Elected.
In the 2004 Canadian federal election, the media used the term "star candidate" frequently because Liberal leader Paul Martin changed the nomination process to allow him to handpick his preferred candidates.
- Ed Broadbent, NDP, (Ottawa Centre), former Leader of the NDP. Elected.
- Glen Murray, Liberal, (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia), Mayor of Winnipeg. Defeated.
- Belinda Stronach, Conservative, (Newmarket-Aurora), CEO of Magna International and Conservative leadership candidate. Elected.
- Chris Axworthy, Liberal, (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin), former NDP Member of Parliament and former Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan. Defeated.
- Ujjal Dosanjh, Liberal, (Vancouver South), former NDP Premier of British Columbia. Elected.
- Monia Mazigh, NDP, (Ottawa South), wife of Maher Arar. Defeated.
- Ken Dryden, Liberal, (York Centre), former goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, vice chairman of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Elected.
- Ken Nicol, Liberal, (Lethbridge), Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition. Defeated.
- Tony Clement, Conservative, (Brampton West), former Ontario Minister of Health and Conservative leadership candidate. Defeated.
Star candidates in past elections include:
- Brian Tobin, Liberal, 2000, (Bonavista—Trinity—Conception), Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Elected.
- Greg Malone, NDP, 2000 by-election, (St. John's West), comedian best known from CODCO. Defeated.
- Lewis MacKenzie, Progressive Conservative, 1997, (Parry Sound—Muskoka), retired general famous for his work as a peacekeeper. Defeated.
- Stéphane Dion, Liberal, 1996 by-election, (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville), academic. Elected.
- Pierre Pettigrew, Liberal, 1996 by-election, (Papineau—Saint-Michel), academic and public servant. Elected.
- Raymond Speaker, Reform, 1993, (Lethbridge), former Leader of the Social Credit Party of Alberta and Leader of the Opposition. Elected.
- Art Eggleton, Liberal, 1993, (York Centre), former Mayor of Toronto. Elected.
- Maureen McTeer, Progressive Conservative, 1988, (Carleton—Gloucester), lawyer, wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark. Defeated.
- Howard Pawley, NDP, 1988, (Selkirk), former Premier of Manitoba. Defeated.
- Dave Barrett, NDP, 1988, (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca), former Premier of British Columbia. Elected.
- David Crombie, Progressive Conservative, 1978 by-election, (Toronto Centre), Mayor of Toronto. Elected.
- Dufferin Roblin, Progressive Conservative, 1968, (Winnipeg South Centre), former Premier of Manitoba. Defeated.
- Gérard Pelletier, Liberal, 1965, (Hochelaga), journalist. Elected.
- Jean Marchand, Liberal, 1965, (Quebec West), labour leader. Elected.
The following individuals have been touted as "star candidates" in provincial elections.
- Rob Brown, Progressive Conservative, 2015, (Airdrie), Mayor of Airdrie. Defeated.
- Ron Casey, Progressive Conservative, 2012, (Banff-Cochrane), former Mayor of Canmore. Elected.
- Tony Caterina, Progressive Conservative, 2015, (Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview), Edmonton City Councilor. Defeated.
- Joe Ceci, NDP, 2015, (Calgary-Fort), former Calgary Alderman. Elected.
- Gordon Dirks, Progressive Conservative, 2014 by-election, (Calgary-Elbow), former Chair of the Calgary Board of Education. Elected.
- Don Getty, Progressive Conservative, 1967, (Strathcona West), CFL quarterback. Elected.
- Rick Hanson, Progressive Conservative, 2015, (Calgary-Cross), former Chief of the Calgary Police Service. Defeated.
- Ralph Klein, Progressive Conservative, 1989, (Calgary-Elbow), Mayor of Calgary. Elected.
- Norman Kwong, Progressive Conservative, 1971, (Calgary-Millican), CFL running back. Defeated.
- Stephen Mandel, Progressive Conservative, 2014 by-election, (Edmonton-Whitemud), former Mayor of Edmonton. Elected.
- Bruce McAllister, Wildrose, 2012, (Chestermere-Rocky View), former Global Calgary anchor. Elected.
- Ric McIver, Progressive Conservative, 2012, (Calgary-Hays), former Calgary Alderman. Elected.
- Bill Vander Zalm, Reform, 1999 by-election, (Delta South), former Premier of British Columbia. Defeated.
Newfoundland and Labrador
- Danny Williams, Progressive Conservative, 2001, (Humber West), Multi-Millionaire Businessman and Lawyer. Elected.
- Jerome Kennedy, Progressive Conservative, 2007, (Carbonear-Harbour Grace), high-profile defence lawyer. Elected.
- Robert Hunter, Liberal, 2001 by-election, (Beaches—East York), Environmentalist, journalist, and author. Defeated
- Jennifer Mossop, Liberal, 2003, (Stoney Creek), television news anchor. Elected.
- Peter Fonseca, Liberal, 2003, (Mississauga East), former Olympic marathon runner. Elected.
- Nerene Virgin, Liberal, 2007, (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek), Actress. Defeated.
- Eric Hoskins, Liberal, 2009 by-election, (St. Paul's), President of the War Child. Elected
- Bernie Farber, Liberal, 2011, (Thornhill), former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Defeated.
- Jean Charest, Liberal, 1998, (Sherbrooke), former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Elected.
- Paul Crête, Parti Québécois, 2009 by-election, (Rivière-du-Loup), former Bloc Québécois MP. Defeated.
- Jean D'Amour, Liberal, 2009 by-election, (Rivière-du-Loup), former Mayor of Rivière-du-Loup and President of the Quebec Liberal Party. Elected.
- Françoise David, Québec solidaire, 2012, (Gouin) President of the Fédération des femmes du Québec. Elected.
- Jacques Duchesneau, CAQ, 2012, (Saint-Jérôme), former Montreal chief of police, and former commissioner of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. Elected.
- Pierre Karl Péladeau, Parti Québécois, 2014, (Saint-Jérôme), son of Pierre Péladeau and former president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation. Elected.
United States (federal-level)
Star candidates are often touted as such at all levels except when running for the offices of President or Vice President. At a congressional level (either House or Senate) they are often big-city mayors or high-profile state politicians that have been lured by their supporters within the party to run at that level. They can also be people who excelled in business, the media, academics or sports.
- Clay Aiken, D-NC2, 2014, philanthropist, singer-songwriter, actor, author - defeated
- Sonny Bono, R-CA44, 1994, singer, musician, songwriter, producer, actor - elected
- Jim Bunning, R-KY4, 1986, baseball player - elected
- Heath Shuler, D-NC11, 2006, NFL quarterback - elected
- Shirley Temple, R-CA11, 1967, film actress and TV actress/entertainer - defeated
- Al Franken, D-MN, 2008, former Air America radio talk-show host, writer, comedian, and political commentator - elected
- Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, 2002, former U.S. Senator - elected
- Walter Mondale, D-MN, 2002, former U.S. Vice President and former U.S. Senator- defeated
- Fred Thompson, R-TN, 1994, attorney and actor - elected
United States (state-level)
As with Canada, they are also either retired high-profile politicians who have been lured back into politics or a city-level politician who has been convinced to enter state politics. Or former politicians that have been lured to run at state level to attain high-profile positions at that level (e.g. Governor)
- Ronald Reagan, Republican, 1966, actor - elected as Governor
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican, 2003, actor - elected as Governor