Jerry Springer Files His Senate Papers

07/14/2003 at 11:16 AM EDT

Contentious talk-show host Jerry Springer, 59, who in a previous life served as mayor of Cincinnati, filed candidacy papers to enter the 2004 race as a Democratic contender for U.S. Senate in Ohio, reports Reuters.

The documents were then dispatched to the secretary of the Senate in Washington -- but Springer will wait until later this month to make a formal announcement about whether he will run, Springer's spokesman Dale Butland tells the news service.

The filing was an important formality, as it will allow Springer to be legal in his fundraising efforts once he begins airing a half-hour campaign infomercial, Butland explained. The spot is due to run in several cities and on Springer's Web site.

Springer's opponent is likely to be Republican Sen. George Voinovich, and the TV personality has already been on the political trail, doing national TV news shows, currying favor with Ohio party leaders at fundraising events.

He's also displaying a sense of humor about his public perception, given that he is also hawking T-shirts bearing one critic's quote that candidate Springer will attract new types of voters: "slack-jawed yokels, hicks, weirdos, pervs and whatnot."

An Ohio poll this past spring showed Springer with high-name voter recognition but little support.

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