‘The Bachelor’: Ben Higgins Filed to Run as a Republican for the Colorado House of Representatives in 2016 but Dropped Out

Ben Higgins is best known for his time on the 11th season of The Bachelorette and starring in the 20th season of The Bachelor. After the lead role, the reality star attempted to throw his hat into a more political ring — a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. However, shortly after he filed the paperwork, Higgins posted a statement to his campaign website announcing that he would be pulling out of the race.

Ben Higgins sitting on a couch in grey blazer on "The Bachelor Live"
Ben Higgins | Rick Rowell/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Former Bachelor Ben Higgins decides to run for the Colorado House of Representatives

In a Jan. 2016 episode of the Bachelor Party podcast, host Juliet Litman tells Higgins she thinks he should run for office (as reported by Jezebel).

“When you’re ready, I think that you should run for public office in the state of Indiana, or Colorado,” she tells him. “I just think that you would win. I’m fairly certain you would win.”

“All right,” he responds, after asking if she was serious (she was). “Well, when I do, can we make the announcement ― well I should say, if I do, I haven’t really ever thought about that ― but if I do, can we make the announcement on your podcast?”

“100%,” said Litman. “I can’t wait.”

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Then in May, William B. Pinkston (then-Republican candidate for the seat Higgins ended up filing for) said in a statement that he’d withdraw if the former bachelor decided to run.

“Ben is the only Republican in the district I would step aside for,” he said in a statement sent to The Denver Post on May 31 by political consultant Dustin Olson. “He’s a great guy and likely the only other Republican who can win.”

Ben Higgins’ very brief go at politics

On July 21, 2016, Higgins filed the paperwork for his official campaign.

“I am definitely not a politician, but I have a lot to offer through my years in the financial services industry and, more importantly, my work in charitable and humanitarian organizations,” Higgins said in a statement at the time.

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But the very next day, the reality star released a statement on his campaign website saying he’d be withdrawing from the race due to “circumstances beyond [his] control.”

I regret that I must withdraw my candidacy. Despite my best efforts to pursue this opportunity in good faith, I recently received information that has made such a pursuit unworkable. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will not be able to move forward as a candidate. I find solace in knowing that our intentions and actions have been fair and sincere. I entered into this endeavor wanting to bring positive change to my community, and it is with that same spirit that I will move forward, albeit on a different path. 

Ben Higgins

Why did the former Bachelor suddenly drop out?

It’s still speculative as to why Higgins dropped out so suddenly. But the main theory seems to be that ABC didn’t want to get involved in politics. National Political Editor & D.C. Correspondent Joe St. George tweeted his thoughts on the matter at the time.

“Basically source close to @benhiggi says ABC was scared of having politics in franchise, would have cost him millions,” he tweeted.

“Things I learned from Bachelor Ben source-Disney lawyers very powerful and don’t want their hit franchises muddied with politics,” he added.

With everything that’s going on in Bachelor Nation currently, it’s clear that being “scared of having politics in [the] franchise” didn’t get the hit reality series anywhere. ABC appears to be at a crossroads where its viewers are expecting them to take a stance.