By Kris Kitto - 01/20/09 06:01 PM EST
First, the Terminator. Now, Bruce Wayne.
Actor Val Kilmer — or Batman, to millions of Americans — is strongly considering a run for New Mexico governor in 2011, when Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson will be term-limited out of office.
At Monday’s Huffington Post party at the Newseum, Kilmer said he has been approached to run for the highest office of the state where he owns a ranch and has family roots.
“Actually, they’ve asked me to run for governor,” he said, not specifying who “they” are. “People seem to want me to.”
“I love my state and I love the people,” Kilmer said.
The actor who succeeded Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader could have a problem, however.
He’s been a prominent supporter of Ralph Nader’s independent bid for the White House, and gave money to Nader over President Obama in 2008.
Richardson publicly declared his support for a potential Kilmer candidacy last year, and on Monday the actor returned the praise to the current governor, who now plans to stay put after an ongoing ethics investigation forced him to decline Obama’s invitation to become Commerce secretary.
If successful, Kilmer would join California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), first known for his leading roles in the “Terminator” film series, as another current big Hollywood name switching over to politics.
When asked by a reporter if he was giving a “strong maybe” for a run for governor, Kilmer agreed.
“That’s what it is,” he said.