Skip to main content

10 Soap Opera Politicians Who'd Get Our Vote


No. 10: EJ DiMera, Days of Our Lives

He may have played dirty to beat incumbent Mayor of Salem, U.S.A. Abe Carver (James Reynolds), but the filthier EJ DiMera (James Scott) gets on Days of Our Lives, the more we like him! Besides, "Honest" Abe and his campaign manager Jennifer Horton Deveraux (Melissa Reeves) ended up playing just as many foul tricks as Elvis and his PR-flack-with-benefits Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) did during the nasty political battle.

What's that they say, if you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em? Jennifer Rose, your donut-making Gran would be appalled!   


No. 9: Elaine Barrish, Political Animals

USA Network's Political Animals only ran one season, but we will forever be grateful to the Greg Berlanti miniseries for electing to cast movie legend Sigourney Weaver as tough-as-nails Secretary of State Elaine Barrish. The obvious Hillary Clinton stand-in tangled with a randy, Southern-fried, former POTUS for an ex-husband; a president who was more flash than substance; a pair of twin sons who caused her their own respective brands of grief and a drunken, mama-from-hell (The iconic Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish).

What was even more impressive, Elaine accomplished all of those feats in sensible paintsuits and a hairstyle much more becoming than that of her real-life counterpart. With so many TV series being saved post cancellation these days, we demand Political Animals and our girl Elaine get a recount!  


No. 8: Dorian Lord, One Life to Live

Dr. Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser) lived a long and colorful life as one of Llanview’s leading citizens on One Life to Live, so when she decided to run for mayor against longtime rival Viki Buchanan (Erika Slezak), citizens knew they were in for a rollercoaster ride. Dorian campaigned on a marriage equality platform, in a storyline that dovetailed with the Kish romance. Proving there's no such thing as going to far to win your base, heterosexual Dorian married a woman to get elected! 

In the end, Mayor Lord did such a good job in Llanview’s highest office, the Pennsylvania governor asked her to fill in for a senator caught in a scandal. Here's hoping Senator Lord is giving 'em hell on the Hill.


No. 7: Grant Harrison, Another World

Dashing, eldest son Grant Harrison (the late Dack Rambo, Mark Pinter) was groomed by his father Spencer (David Hedison) to one day assume the office of President of the United States on Another World. Like many a politician, Grant's love for the ladies almost proved to be his professional undoing.  

First there was that sordid ordeal with Sharly, the alternate personality of farm wife Sharlene Hudson (Anna Holbrook); then there was Grant's scandalous involvement with campaign worker (and his brother Ryan's girl!) Vicky Hudson (Jensen Buchanan).

Grant's obsession became even more intense when Vicky bore him a son named Kirkland. Along the way other women caught his eye, Cory sisters Paulina (Judi Evans) and Amanda (Christine Tucci), nutty Cindy (Kim Rhodes), but Grant's desire to possess Vicky and Kirkland remained his constant, driving passion.

The return of Grant and Ryan's (Paul Michael Valley) unhinged mother Justine Kirkland Harrison Duvalier (Victoria Wyndham) added deadly fuel to the inferno that was Grant vs. Vicky and Ryan. Grant ultimately went to prison for killing his baby brother, but don't think a Mark of Cain was enough to keep him down. Once he was sprung, Grant managed to win the race for Bay City's mayor! To think, a simple, stained dress almost took down Bill Clinton.


No. 6: Harper Deveraux, Days of Our Lives

What we need today from our politicians is someone who can multitask. Days of Our Lives' Harper Deveraux (Joseph Campanella) possessed this trait and then some! By day an esteemed senator and by night the Riverfront Knifer, Jack's adopted dad (Matthew Ashford) knew how to get things done long before the invention of a smartphone. We wonder just how far Harper's political aspirations would have taken him, if his pesky psychosis hadn't landed him in prison for killing Janice Barnes (Elizabeth Storm) and terrorizing Brady sisters Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) and Kim (Patsy Pease), as well as Kim's stepdaughter Eve Donovan (Charlotte Ross)?

While a good stint in the clink is par for the course for a lot of public servants, Harper had to bear an even greater indecency — being killled by his own son. During his second prison break, the senior Deveraux sought revenge on Patch (Stephen Nichols) and Kayla. He planned to gun them down at their own wedding. Luckily for Salem's popular pair of lovebirds, Jack stopped his dad — permanently.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

No. 5: Trey Clegg, Capitol

The Cleggs had high hopes for golden boy Trey (Nicholas Walker) on Capitol. Unfortunately, fathering a child with a prostitute can prove quite the bump on the road to the White House! Trey came to love reporter Sloane Denning (Debrah Farentino), much more than his career, but constant meddling from his mother Myrna Clegg (most notably Marj Dusay)

and his baby with hooker Kelly Harper (a pre-The Young and the Restless Jess Walton) proved the Beltway supercouple's undoing.

By Capitol's end in 1987, Sloan was no longer involved with Trey. She was being romanced by Arab royal King Al, a relationship that ultimately found her before a firing squad, just as Capitol faded to black. Today people complain about being broken up with via text.


No. 4: Greg Sumner, Knots Landing

When Mac MacKenzie's (Kevin Dobson) old law school pal Greg Sumner (William Devane) announced a run for the state senate, Mac and his do-gooder wife Karen (Michele Lee) thought he was the man for the job. Mac even went to work for Sumner, heading up his Senate Crime Commission. Little did he realize, the biggest crook in Knots Landing was his boss! Well, almost the biggest crook...

In truth that title went to Karen's sister-in-law Abby Fairgate (Donna Mills), who convinced Greg to provide her with an illegal land variance to build Lotus Point. When Greg's treacherous dealings with Abby came to light, he pinned his involvement on Mac. I guess these two didn't spend a lot of time humming "That's What Friends Are For" during the 80's. 

Greg later realized his brand of shameless duplicity was much more suited to big business than the state senate. He inherited Galveston Industries from his father and promptly renamed it Sumner Group. Meanwhile, Mac spent the rest of the decade, and the beginning of the next, trying to expose one of Sumner's ruthless schemes or another.

Greg and Mac didn't only tangle on the business front. Things became personal when Greg began romancing single mom Laura Avery (Constance McCashin), who just so happened to be one of the MacKenzie's best friends, and their Seaview Circle neighbor.

When Laura died of cancer, a devastated Greg gave their daughter Meg to Karen and Mac to raise. He later became romantically involved with Mac's long-lost daughter Paige Mathison (Nicollette Sheridan). Politics make strange bedfellows, indeed!


No. 3: Ross Marler, Guiding Light

It may be hard for viewers who began watching Guiding Light later in its run to imagine Ross Marler (Jerry verDorn) as anything but an upstanding citizen, husband and father. He showcased none of those qualities when he defended Roger Thorpe (the late Michael Zaslow) against marital rape charges back in 1979. Over a decade and some change later, a much more mellow Ross fell in love with Roger's ex-wife Holly (Maureen Garrett), who supported him during a bid for the Senate.

Ross Marler's political dreams were kept from becoming a reality, due to his involvement with the volatile Thorpes. Blake (Sherry Stringfield, Liz Keifer)—Roger and Holly's scheming daughter—began throwing herself at Ross. She wanted to pay her mother back for exposing her various lies to hubby Alan-Michael Spaulding (Rick Hearst).

As much as he tried to fight it, Ross was intensely attracted to the daughter of his fiancée. When a furious Holly found Blake and Ross in bed together, she not only told Roger about their affair, but sent pictures of her ex and daughter to a trashy tabloid!

Despite his scandalous liaisons with the mother-daughter duo, Ross manged to be elected Senator. However, when Roger blackmailed him with video footage of Blake breaking into his opponent's campaign office, Ross decided to step down. He didn't step away from Blake though. The two married (on multiple occasions) and had three children together, before Ross died during a plane crash in 2006.


No. 2: Josiah "Jed" Bartlet, The West Wing

When it comes to primetime television politicians, The West Wing's Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) remains the gold standard. For two terms (seven TV seasons), Jed ruled the fictional free world with compassion and grace. Through political battles (granting immigration amnesity) to personal ones (multiple sclerosis), Jed proved to be one of the most popular Democrats of all time.  


No. 1: Luke Spencer, General Hospital

What exactly is a guy supposed to do as a follow up to taking down mobsters and saving the world from the ultimate ice storm? If you're General Hospital's Lucas Lorenzo Spencer (Anthony Geary) you'd become mayor!

When Luke returned from the dead to find his squeeze Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) married to his best friend Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), he decided it was time for a career change.

While we can't help but question the good citizens of Port Charles voting in a reformed rapist and ex-mobster, who grew up in a brothel, the PC mayor's mansion sure made a pretty setting for Luke to reunite with his own back from the dead love — Laura (Genie Francis)!