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Two-time 'The Amazing Race' contestant Justin Kanew running for Congress


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/11/2017 

Two-time The Amazing Race contestant Justin Kanew is about to run a different kind of race -- a political one. 

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Kanew, 38, is campaigning to become the United States Congressman from Tennessee's 7th District in 2018, People reported. 

"I do see a path to winning," Kanew told People.

"I want to listen to people's concerns. I want to engage with them. Face the music if things go wrong, and really try to help. If after the campaign, people don't agree with me, they don't have to vote for me. But I hope they'll listen to me, and I'll listen to them."

Kanew, a Democrat, will be running against Marsha Blackburn, a Republican who has been in office since 2003.

"I'm not a career politician, but I think in many ways that's a plus," Kanew said, before referencing President Donald Trump

"I think this election showed career politicians aren't necessarily what people are looking for right now... It's not about right vs. left. It's right vs. wrong. We all want the same things. I remember when bipartisanship was a good thing and not a threat."

Kanew's first public appearance as a candidate will be on July 20, according to People, and he's well aware he's a political outsider from a reality show, which may be a cause for concern among voters.

Kanew worked as a writer and film producer when he competed on The Amazing Race's fifteenth season in 2009 with his teammate and friend Zev Glassenberg, who made headlines as the franchise's first Racer with Asperger's Syndrome. The pair got eliminated in the fourth leg but became fan-favorites.

Kanew and Glassenberg later returned for The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business in 2011 as a team of "Best Friends" and made it all the way to the penultimate leg, finishing in fourth place overall.

"After doing the Race, I worked in entertainment in Los Angeles. I got married and we had a baby," Kanew told explained.

"We decided we didn't want to raise our daughter in Los Angeles, so we decided to go to a place that was more community oriented. We wanted it to be more about family than Hollywood. We came to Franklin, Tennessee, and fell in love with the area."

Kanew initially intended to continue working as a writer and producer in Tennessee while his wife, Nicole, worked as a behavioral analyst for a local school district.

"I just saw things happening in the country that I thought were dangerous," Kanew explained of his desire to enter politics.

"As a father, I started thinking about the world that my daughter would grow up in, and I wanted to help... I want it to be about leaving a better country and world for our kids. That's why I'm doing it."



Justin Kanew/Instagram

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