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This is a list of all the articles on this wiki about real-life politicians who were appointed or elected to political offices, but they had never become a national head-of-state or head-of-government (i.e. president or prime minister) in charge of their whole country's government.

For those politicians who did become national government leaders, see Heads of State.


Political officeholders (all politicians who are not or have never been the head-of-state):

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Japan

  • Antonio Inoki: Served two terms as House Councilor from 1989-1994 and 2013-2019.

United Kingdom

  • Nick Clegg: Liberal Democrat politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister in the 2010-2015 UK coalition government.
  • Glenda Jackson: Labour MP who represented Hampstead and Highgate, also a successful actress.
  • Fitzroy Maclean: Conservative MP who represented Lancaster, Bute and Northern Ayrshire.
  • Peter Mandelson: New Labour politician and constant tabloid bait.
  • David Owen: Foreign Secretary (1977-1979) who left Labour to help found the Social Democratic Party.
  • Dennis Skinner: Long-serving, acerbic left-wing Labour MP.

United States

  • Sonny Bono (R-CA): Originally a musician, he first gained fame alongside his then-wife Cher as the popular recording act Sonny & Cher. After their divorce, he eventually found his way into politics, serving as mayor of Palm Springs, California from 1988–1992 and in the US House of Representatives from 1995 until his death in 1998.
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  • Jerry Brown (D-CA): Governor of California (34th then 39th) again after 36 years when he originally took office, spent some time in between running for different offices and re-inventing himself.
  • William Jennings Bryan (D-NE): Populist Democratic Congressman from Nebraska and multiple-time presidential candidate known for his advocacy of bimetallism and later for defending creationism in the Scopes trial.
  • Dick Cheney (R-WY): Wyoming Representative and 46th Vice President of the United States.
  • Henry Clay (W-KY): Kentucky Congressman and federal Secretary of State who made many important contributions to the nation during the 19th century.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): Former First Lady (to Bill Clinton), former U.S. Senator (D-NY) from 2001-2009, Presidential candidate in 2008 and 68th Secretary of State (2009-2013). Democratic nominee for President for 2016 and the popular vote winner in that election, and the first woman to be nominated for that office by a major party in the country's history (the latest in a long, long line of 'firsts'note ). She and her husband are something of a political institution; when she left the State Department in 2013, it was the first time in 30 years that neither one of them was serving in the federal or state government.
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  • Davy Crockett (W-TN): Early 19th century soldier and politician from Tennessee, he served as a legislator in the Tennessee General Assembly (state legislature) and later the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a member of the National Republican (Anti-Jacksonian) Party, but later defected to the Whig Party.
  • Eugene Debs (S-IN): Labor union activist and Socialist Party politician who served in the Indiana General Assembly (state legislature), and ran five times as a presidential candidate.
  • Bob Dole (R-KS): U.S. Senator from Kansas (1969–1996), Senate Majority Leader (1985–1987 and 1995–1996), U.S. Representative from Kansas (1961–1960), 1976 Republican vice presidential nominee, 1996 Republican presidential nominee.
  • Michael Dukakis (D-MA): Governor of Massachusetts (1975-1979, 1983-1991), 1988 Democratic presidential nominee.
  • Clint Eastwood (L-CA): A film icon since the 1960s as both an actor (the Dollars Trilogy, the Dirty Harry franchise) and director (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby), Eastwood has also been politically active. Currently a registered Libertarian, but also a Republican and independent in the past, he served as the non-partisan mayor of Carmel, California from 1986–1988.
  • Al Franken (D-MN): Saturday Night Live writer turned liberal pundit turned U.S. Senator starting in 2009. Resigned in 2018 following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Benjamin Franklin (I-PA): One of America's Founding Fathers, and perhaps the most famous one who was never President. Famously appears on the $100 bill.
  • Newt Gingrich (R-GA): Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-1999), Minority Whip (1989-1995), U.S. Representative from Georgia's 6th district (1979-1999). Also taught history at West Georgia College, wrote Alternate History and Historical Fiction, and ran for President in 2012 (eventually losing the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney).
  • John Glenn (D-OH): American astronaut who served as Senator from 1974-1999.
  • Al Gore (D-TN): Representative from Tennessee from 1977-1985 (6th District from 1977-1983, 4th District from 1983-1985), US Senator (D-TN) from 1985-1993, Presidential candidate in 1988, Vice President of the United States under Bill Clinton, Democratic nominee for President in 2000, environmentalist, filmmaker, and founder of cable TV network Current.
  • Alexander Hamilton (F-NY): American Founding Father and first Secretary of the Treasury. He's also on the $10. He used to be a somewhat obscure figure until the advent of a certain musical.
  • Kamala Harris (D-CA): District Attorney of San Francisco (2004–2011), Attorney General of California (2011–2017), United States Senator from California (2017–2021), Vice President of the United States (2021–present).
  • Hubert Humphrey (D-MN): Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota (1945–1948) and Minnesota Senator (1949–1964), he was chosen to be the 38th Vice President to Lyndon Johnson for his heavy endorsement of civil rights. In office from 1965 to 1969. Ran against Richard Nixon in the 1968 presidential election, but lost. He went back to the Senate and served from 1971 to 1978. The Metrodome, former home of the Twins and Vikings, was named for him.
  • Daniel Inouye (D-HI): Former Hawaii Representative-At-Large (1959-1963) Senator (1963-2012) and President Pro Tempore of the Senate (2010-2012). He passed away from respiratory disease at age 88 on December 17, 2012.
  • Glenn "Kane" Jacobs (R-TN): A semi-retired professional wrestler and the Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee since 2018.
  • Robert F. Kennedy (D-MA): Younger brother of John F. Kennedy, Attorney General from 1961-1964, Senator from New York from 1965-1968, and a possible Democratic presidential nominee in 1968. He was assassinated before the primaries ended.
  • Ted Kennedy (D-MA): Younger brother of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Senator of Massachusetts from 1962 to his death in 2009, was seen as an elder statesman of the Democratic Party. Infamously challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential primaries.
  • John Kerry (D-MA): Lieutenant Governor (1983-1985) and Senator from Massachusetts (1985-2013), Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004, 69th Secretary of State (February 1, 2013-January 20, 2017).
  • Huey Long (D-LA): Infamous Louisiana politician of notable interest: Governor (1928-1932) and Senator (1932–1935), his Senate career was cut short by his assassination.
  • Joseph McCarthy (R-WI): Anti-communist Republican senator during the 1950s. The term "McCarthyism" is named for him.
  • John McCain (R-AZ): Senator (1987-2018), former Republican nominee for president in 2008 and former prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. His 2008 campaign was unusually overshadowed by his vice-presidential pick, Sarah Palin. After said election he became an elder statesman for the Republican Party until his death in August 2018 from brain cancer.
  • Walter Mondale (D-MN): U.S. Vice President (1977–1981), U.S. Senator from Minnesota (1964–1976), U.S. Ambassador to Japan (1993–1996), Attorney General of Minnesota (1960–1964).
  • Matt Morgan (I-FL): Former professional wrestler turned politician. He served as District 4 City Commissioner of Longwood, Florida in 2017 and then its Mayor since 2019.
  • Gavin Newsom (D-CA: Governor (2019-present) of California. He previously served as Lt. Governor to Jerry Brown and as Mayor of San Francisco.
  • Sarah Palin (R-AK): Governor of Alaska from 2006-2009, 2008 Republican candidate for US Vice President.
  • David Paterson (D-NY): Governor of New York from 2008-1010, previously the Lt. Governor from 2007-2008.
  • Ron Paul (R-TX): Representative from Texas (22nd District from 1976-1977 and 1979-1985, 14th District from 1997-2013), perennial Presidential candidate (he was a GOP candidate in 2008 and 2012 and the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988).
  • Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): Speaker of the House of Representatives (2007-2011, 2019-present), Representative from California, currently from the 12th district (1987-present).
  • Dan Quayle (R-IN): U.S. Vice President (1989-1993), U.S. Senator from Indiana (1981-1989), U.S. Representative from Indiana's 4th District (1977-1981).
  • Harry Reid (D-NV): Senate Majority Leader (2007-2015), U.S. Senator from Nevada (1987-2017), U.S. Representative from Nevada's 1st district (1983-1987), Lieutenant Governor of Nevada (1971-1975).
  • Eleanor Roosevelt (D-NY): Wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the longest-serving First Lady. She broke new ground when it came to the role a woman could play in politics.
  • Mitt Romney (R-UT): Governor of Massachusetts (2003–2007), 2012 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Senator (2019–present).
  • Bernie Sanders (I-VT): Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981-1989), U.S. Representative (1991-2007), U.S. Senator (2007-present). An independent Senator who caucuses with Democrats in Congress. Widely considered to be the most politically progressive member of the Senate, if not the entirety of Congress, and is incredibly popular on the Internet. Ran for President in 2016 (as a Democrat, to some controversy), and lost the primary to Hillary Clinton. Ran for president again (as a Democrat, again, to even more controversy) for the 2020 nomination as of his announcement on February 19, 2019, but the nomination went to Joe Biden, who went on to win the general election.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA): Movie Action Hero turned Republican Governator of California (2003-2011).
  • Jesse Ventura (I-MN): Former professional wrestler turned Reform Party (later Independence Party of Minnesota) Governor of Minnesota from 1999-2003.

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