Daily News Props
Kudos to Mayor Frank for breaking the news.
Assemblyman eyed for ABC's 'Bachelor'
By Brent Hopkins, Staff Writer
Six-foot-three and sharp in a pinstriped suit, Lloyd Levine could soon be one of the hottest men in America.
As the Democratic assemblyman from Van Nuys, he's so far been known mainly for his legislative exploits, championing such causes as fitness and the fight against cloned pets.
He can lecture persuasively about the need for civic involvement, punctuated with quotes from John F. Kennedy. His resume includes chairman of Select Committees on Infrastructure, High School and Collegiate Athletics -- hardly hot titles to mention when trying to pick up babes.
But the former photographer soon could be juggling the bustle under the state Capitol's white dome with romantic moonlight dinners: As part of a nationwide search for the country's most eligible men, producers of the ABC reality TV show "The Bachelor" have asked the 36-year-old Levine to submit an application to be a contestant.
"He's young, he's hot, he's single, he's what I believe every woman's looking for," said Michelle Castillo, a talent producer for the show, now in its eighth installment. "He's also got a great track record professionally.
"Great job, good looks, charming -- he's the complete package."
This came as a bit of a surprise to the mild-mannered Levine, who admits that he's never even seen the show. But, hey, legislators aren't blessed with a whole lot of time to go out looking for dates, so he decided to fill the application out and give it a shot.
If picked, he'd have his choice of 25 attractive women to squire around Paris, winnowed down to one lucky mademoiselle to whom he would hand a single red rose.
Levine, who favors French-cuff shirts when he's not pounding the streets in running shoes, seems slightly embarrassed by all the attention. Rail-thin and raven-haired, he coyly avoids discussing his past relationships, but mentions that he's been able to squeeze in a few dates between trips to Sacramento and back to Van Nuys.
"For me, a romantic night is what makes the other person happy," he said. "I like to do a lot of things, so I can have a good time no matter what. I get huge satisfaction out of seeing a big smile on their face, so if it's a good restaurant, a walk on the beach, a hike and a picnic, whatever they like."
He's not too picky about his special lady friend's appearance, though he favors tall women. She's got to have a passion for something, dig civic involvement, and enjoy being outside and active.
Logging 60- to 80-hour weeks in the Assembly, he doesn't find himself with much spare time to indulge in romantic pursuits. Even his preferred entertainment has a political tinge to it -- his favorite movie is the Michael Douglas flick "The American President" and he rocks out to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."
His idea of a fun trip is going on a photo excursion to the Central Valley to document the plight of farmworkers.
"I don't think any Assembly member has much of a social life," said Levine's cousin Dave Krute, who works in the family political consultancy. "In the last three years, it's been nonstop political machinations, so there's been long hours in the Assembly. I don't think he's even had any free time to play golf and be with his family."
News of his involvement with the show, first reported on the political blog Mayor Sam, sent giggles throughout state political circles. Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, couldn't resist an invitation to have a little fun at Levine's expense.
"I can't imagine that small talk about the state budget is a real turn-on to most women," she said with a snicker. "The fact that he's so concerned with cloning animals might cause more than one girl to find him a little suspicious."
But legislators can be romantic, too, Levine protests, pointing to his Democratic colleague Dario Frommer's recent marriage.
Sure, he's going to be busy with politics for the foreseeable future -- planning a run for state Senate in 2008 -- but Levine still wants to find the right lady to settle down with.
"When you're in a relationship, you've got an anchor, someone who grounds you. In the morning, you get up, kiss each other goodbye and you go about your days. The whole time, you know there's someone there waiting for you who shares that life with you."
Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 firstname.lastname@example.org