Stormy Daniels Ran For Senate Years Before Facing Off With Trump In Court

Read the name "Stormy Daniels," and two associations will come to mind: her career as an award-winning adult film star, and her ongoing public battle with President Donald Trump. What you might not know is that Daniels once vowed to run for office herself. 

In 2010, she shocked the adult entertainment world and the political world alike by announcing her intent to compete against incumbent David Vitter in the Louisiana Senate election. Daniels had certainly pulled some jaw-dropping moves in the past; however, this was one nobody could have predicted. But alas, the Bayou State was denied a proper Stormy Daniels candidacy. Daniels ultimately dropped out of the race, and Vitter won another term. Yet her campaign remains an interesting footnote in American politics, especially given her role in complicating Trump's 2024 campaign.

While she decided to duck out of the political arena in the end, Daniels had a particular reason for trying to run for the Senate spot in the first place. 

Stormy Daniels wanted to take a stand against David Vitter

What inspired Daniels to try politics on for size? It turns out that her campaign was a response to David Vitter's own actions. Vitter, a staunch Republican, branded himself as a devout Christian, a loyal husband, and a loving father. Yet he was embroiled in controversy in 2007, when his phone number was found in the records of "the D.C. Madam," known for connecting high-profile Washington clients to prostitution services. Vitter publicly admitted to cheating and apologized. 

In a 2009 interview with Marie Claire, Daniels shared more information about her political bid. She revealed that the campaign wasn't an original idea — a coalition of activists reached out to her and encouraged her to run for office. "I was drafted by a group called Draft Stormy, a grassroots movement in Louisiana that wanted someone who was the polar opposite of current Senator David Vitter. They figured I would be perfect because I am open and honest about my sexuality, unlike Vitter," she said. I realized that this is my chance to make a difference, to do something unselfish, noble, and to help a lot of people."

Daniels went on to specify her gripe with Vitter: "I'm not one to judge someone's sexual activity, but what annoys me is that he's so hard-core 'family values,' and he puts his wife and kids out there, saying he's a Christian family man. Then he's caught up in a prostitution scandal. He's a hypocrite."

Daniels dropped out of the race for logistical reasons

Stormy Daniels might have been ready to take on David Vitter, but the rest of the world wasn't ready for her. In April 2010, she announced that she would no longer be vying for the role of senator — not because she lacked passion, but because she didn't believe she would be able to win the race. In a statement (via CBS News), she expressed disappointment that her campaign wasn't being taken seriously by the political establishment. "Simply because I did not fit in their mold of what an independent working woman should be, the media and political elite have sought to relegate my sense of civic responsibility to mere sideshow antics," she wrote.

Daniels also opened up about the financial burden of running a political campaign. She just didn't have the funds that the incumbent Vitter did — and she worried that this disparity would prevent her from having a fair shot at the seat. "The simple fact that David Vitter has $5 million in his bank account pretty much says it all. Against that sheer accumulation of special interest dollars, I have no legitimate means of winning a race for the United States Senate under these circumstances," she stated. "I am not running for the U.S. Senate for the same reason that so many dedicated patriots do not run — I can't afford it."

Little did she know, Daniels would later make an impact on the political landscape in an unexpected way.