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Former American Mixed martial artist Jeff Monson is now an elected Russian city councilman

Source: Meduza

Mixed martial artist Jeff Monson is now a bonafide city councilman in the town of Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow. He was elected this Sunday on United Russia’s ticket, though Monson instantly tried to distance himself from the party, tweeting, “I was invited by United Russia party [sic] to run but I am independent.”

Monson even had the governor’s endorsement. It’s quite a feat for a man who only this May acquired Russian citizenship (and renounced his U.S. citizenship). Monson is known for his love of Russia (especially its Soviet past), and he recently opened a martial arts school in Krasnogorsk. In a June 2018 interview with Meduza, he explained his turn to Russian politics.

Not every candidate with preexisting name recognition was victorious last weekend, however. Viktoria Skripal — the camera-hungry niece of the poisoned former double agent — failed to win a seat in the Yaroslavl regional legislative assembly, and Igor Vostrikov — who lost his entire family in a fire that consumed a shopping mall in March — didn’t get enough votes to join the Kemerovo regional parliament.