Jack Donaghy may spend a lot of time at NBC’s headquarters, but Alec Baldwin’s time there is coming to an end. But that won’t be the last we see of him — Baldwin wants to run for mayor of New York City.
After six seasons on 30 Rock, Baldwin is leaving the show as a regular cast member at the end of the current season. Although he will continue to appear in occasional future episodes, the actor is turning his career toward politics, something in which he has long been interested.
However, don’t expect to see him on the 2013 ballot. He wants to further his education before diving into the political arena.
Baldwin told the New York Times that he is researching graduate programs in government and politics at two universities, and plans to enroll in the fall of 2012. His goal is to learn more about what the mayoral job would entail. “What’s the reality of the city unions, of contracts, agreements, teachers, infrastructure, decentralizing, everything? And utilities, Con Ed, the M.T.A. — how does it all work?”
He said that people have been asking him to run for office for years in various states, but he’s a New Yorker born and bred, and that’s where he wants to serve. Although his legal residence is in Long Island, Baldwin plans to move permanently into the city before beginning his campaign.
His interest in becoming mayor was sparked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to overturn the city’s term-limits law (which allowed Bloomberg to run for and win a third term), something that Baldwin finds ludicrous. “All the Bloomberg supporters look at me and say, ‘What do you got against Bloomberg?’ ” he said. “Well, I don’t have anything against Bloomberg, but there are term limits. The whole point is, whether you liked him or didn’t like him, he’s got to go.”
Despite his fame and longtime political activism — Baldwin is an outspoken Democrat — he’s aware that running for mayor could be risky. “I am someone who is fully prepared for the fact that I could go into this and do it and completely have my ass kicked,” he said. “I could throw a party and no one could come. And it would be this staggering lesson for me.”