Will the ‘Predator’ political charm hold?

First Jesse Ventura got himself elected governor of Minnesota. Then Arnold Schwarzenegger swept into power in California. Now Sonny Landham is trying to make it a trifecta.

Sonny who?

Sonny Landham, who played the fierce, brooding American Indian commando “Billy” beside Schwarzenegger’s and Ventura’s characters in 1987’s “Predator.” Landham, 67, is running on the Libertarian ticket against U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., according to the Associated Press:

Landham refers to McConnell, a four-term Republican, as “Boss Hogg” after the corrupt politician from “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show. He bluntly called Democratic candidate and millionaire businessman Bruce Lunsford an “elitist.”

Even President Bush is a target: “He took us into a war on lies,” Landham said, claiming the actual intent was “to put ‘Big Oil’ back into Iraq.”

To qualify for the November ballot, Landham must collect at least 5,000 valid petition signatures by Aug. 12. State Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman said the petition drive began recently and he believes Landham will make it.

But the bid includes some campaign baggage that seems scripted for Hollywood, instead of socially conservative Kentucky. Early in his acting career in the 1970s, Landham bared it all in adult films.

I’ve sought a comment but received no response from Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office as of this hour.

((UPDATE @ 11:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY: “He has no position on this race. He’s focused on governing California,” says Aaron McLear, the governor’s press secretary. And that, we can safely say, is that.))

Let’s see, a Libertarian actor who once did porn and is still embroiled in a legal battle in which he did federal prison time for allegedly threatening his wife (his conviction later was overturned), taking on the Senate’s most powerful Republican. Think he’ll do much better against McConnell than Billy did against the Predator?

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.