There are a lot of similarities between Survivor and politics. The scheming. The backstabbing. The alliances.
So it’s only natural that some contestants have entered the cutthroat world of politics after their seasons were over. Rupert Boneham was the 2012 Libertarian candidate for Indiana governor. In 2001, Mike Skupin considered a run for U.S. Senate. Jolanda Jones, the first contestant voted off of Survivor: Palau was a Houston city councilwoman.
Now another contestant is throwing her hat into the ring: Laura Morett, who competed in Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Blood vs. Water, has announced that she is running for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Morett, 45, was born and raised in Oregon. It’s a blue state, but Morett is a Republican. “There are Republicans in Oregon,” she tells PEOPLE. “My district is an interesting district. I’ve got 36 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican, 5 percent Independent and 22 percent non-affiliated. It’s up for grabs; it can go either way.”
So if she is elected to office, what does Morett want to accomplish? “There are specific things that I’d like to get done,” she says. “I’m concerned about education, our economy, everything that everybody else is concerned about. That said, I’m the first to admit that there is a lot I need to learn. I want to get a good grasp of what’s going on so I can say, ‘Okay, here’s what needs to be done.’ ”
“I have friends who work in the legislature,” she continues. “They said to me, ‘Laura, do you have common sense? Do you know right from wrong? Do you care about your community? You can do this.’ I came to the point where I said, ‘I’m going to go for it.’ ”
Morett says that her family is enthusiastic about her campaign. “This was not on my radar at all. I’ve always been passionate about politics. But seeing what’s going on with the nation got me thinking, “What are the qualifications for this position?’ The qualifications are this: You have to be over the age of 21, and you have to live in your district. I am way overqualified.”
Morett has three adult children: Ciera, who is currently on this season of Survivor is 26; Brandon is 25; her youngest, Adam, is 22. Her husband of 28 years is a self-employed contractor. When not working as a stay-at-home mom, Morett has worked as a legal assistant.
So did Survivor prepare her for the rough and tumble world of politics?
“I am a problem solver solver,” she says. “This was my secret on Survivor puzzles. If there are 100 pieces, all you do is find one piece. Then you find the one piece that fits with that one. Don’t get distracted. Find that piece. Then find the next match. You start in one place, and you build out. That’s how my mind thinks. And that’s how I’ll approach this: What needs to be done? Okay, then what needs to be done next?”
And is she worried that her time on Survivor will come up as a campaign issue? “Of course people will go there,” says Morett, who has sent up a campaign website. “But that’s okay. I’ll have to prove to people that I am more than a Survivor contestant. It’s honestly getting out and knocking on doors and meeting people. That’s how I’m going to win.”