1988: Sonny Bono Elected Mayor Of Palm Springs, California

By | April 8, 2020

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Palms Springs Mayor Sonny Bono in 1991. Source: Paul Harris / Contributor / Getty Images

As mayor of Palm Springs, Sonny Bono added a new chapter to a life that had included pop stardom with then-partner Cher ("I Got You Babe"), Vegas success and TV-show fame. After leaving the entertainment business, for the most part, in the ‘80s he became a restaurateur in Palm Springs, California. A run-in with the city council over the size of his restaurant and a renovation that he wanted to make inspired him to run for mayor in order to make the city more business friendly. Over his four years in office (1988-92), he learned on the job while making a few important changes to the city.

Bono Ran For Mayor In Order To Oust The Old-Boys Club

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source: the desert sun

While living in Palm Springs, Bono opened an Italian restaurant named after himself and pretty much immediately ran into trouble with the city. Bono wanted to put a new sign on the building but he was told that it was too big, and this inspired him to run for mayor in 1988. He didn’t just want to put a bigger sign on Bono’s but he said that he wanted to get rid of the old guard who wanted to keep every other business from doing what they want. The former singer didn’t just capitalize on his name recognition during his campaign but he spent more than $100,000 to run against his opponents while they were spending around $30,000.