Dell "Superdell" Schanze made a "totally awesome" and surprising move on Monday: he's running for governor.
Apparently, Salt Lake County mayor isn't a big enough title for Schanze. Now he's shooting for the state's highest position.
The quirky former Totally Awesome Computers pitchman dropped his bid for Salt Lake County mayor on Monday and instead filed to run against Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to run the state.
Schanze had filed as a Republican in the mayor race, but now he'll run as a Libertarian as he takes on the Republican Huntsman.
In a statement e-mailed to the Deseret Morning News Monday night, Schanze said he originally filed for mayor because there were no Republican candidates. After he saw others had filed, however, he pursued his initial plan, a run for governor.
"One thing is for sure, if I am elected, Utah will be one seriously fun place to live," Shanze said. "Just imagine having a Governor that will encourage creativity, sponsor fantastic innovation and motivate never before seen economic growth."
Although he did not specifically address his candidacy as a third-party candidate, he did allude to the challenge ahead, but emphasized that it fit with his approach to many of his other endeavors.
"Dream big because supers have no pre-set limits," he said. "If you can dream it, I can help make it happen."
His quirky commercials for his former company, Totally Awesome Computers, made "Superdell" a household name. Then, his public jousts with police and the media made him infamous.
In June 2006, he was charged with creating a public nuisance, a class B misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, an infraction, for flying a powered paraglider over rush-hour traffic on I-15.
That same year he was acquitted of threatening to use a dangerous weapon after some angry Draper residents confronted him for speeding through their neighborhood on the way to a hang-gliding park.
A jury did, however, find him guilty of lying to police about the incident.
The battle also led to a class C misdemeanor reckless driving charge of driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.
In March 2006, Schanze shut down the business that made him famous. After months of slow sales and media problems, Schanze ultimately blamed Totally Awesome Computers' downfall on the news media.
"It's too bad that all of the media in Utah are liars and murderers," he said at the time. "You just destroyed the greatest computer company of all time. We were the best in the world, the world champion. All this hatred was created by you. You're basically angels of Satan. All I can say to the people in Utah is, please pray for all the news people."
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