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Stars spice up campaigns

2012/04/03 | Permalink | Source

From top left: Lee Young-ae, Song Il-gook, Choi Myung-gil
Chung Mong-joon of the ruling Saenuri Party, right, the incumbent representative for Seoul's Dongjak B constituency who is standing again in the April 11 parliamentary elections, greets citizens on their way to work with his nephew Chung Dae-sun and his wife Noh Hyun-jung, a former KBS anchor, in front of Joongang University Hospital, Monday. / Yonhap

By Park Si-soo

Several candidates are running a star-studded campaign in the lead-up to the April 11 National Assembly elections. This is made possible due to their personal ties with movie stars, TV presenters and beauty contest winners, triggering a sense of jealousy among their rivals.

Novelist-turned-politician Kim Han-gil is leading one such campaign thanks largely to his wife, Choi Myung-gil, an actress. The 59-year-old is running in the Gwangjin-A electoral district in Seoul on the ticket of the opposition Democratic United Party (DUP).

The opening ceremony of his campaign office on March 29 was embellished by the presence of several movie stars and celebrities, including Hwang Shin-hye, Shim Hye-jin and Son Chang-min.

Rep. Kim Eul-dong, who is seeking reelection in the Songpa-C electoral district on the ticket of the ruling Saenuri Party, is running a campaign with the full support of her movie star son Song Il-gook.

The actor, known to be shy and introvert, has been following his 67-year-old mother since the beginning of the official campaign, delivering speeches, doling out leaflets and handling other chores for other campaigners.

Song's presence is catching the attention of young voters during Kim's campaign.

"I saw many young women flocking around campaigners to catch a glimpse of the actor", said Kim Sook-hee, a young voter in his early 20s.

Actress Kim Ji-soo, whose stage name is Yoon Se-in, is a daughter of Rep. Kim Boo-kyum, a three-term lawmaker seeking reelection in the Susung-A district in Daegu on the DUP ticket.

She recently joined her father's campaign following the end of a TV drama where she played one of the leading roles.

"I will give a full-support to my father through the remaining part of the campaign period", she said.

Among other celebrities embroiled in campaigning are actress Lee Young-ae (for Saenuri candidate Chung Jin-seok), former TV announcer Roh Hyun-jung (for Saenuri candidate Chung Mong-joon), Miss Korea-turned-actress Lee Honey (for DUP candidate Moon Hee-sang) and a Miss Korea-turned-TV announcer Han Kyung-jin (for independent candidate Han Chang-goo).

선거판 뛰어든 연예인들

19 대 국회의원을 뽑는 4.11 선거전이 여느 영화제 못지않은 레드카펫을 방불케 하고 있다. 각 지역구 후보들의 '한 표 호소 전쟁에 여배우들이 선봉장으로 나선 것이다. 자존심 대결을 방불케 하는 각 후보들의 혈연·지연에 얽힌 여배우들의 대리전이 뜨겁다.

서울 중구에 출마한 새누리당 정진석 후보는 같은 지역구에 출마한 민주통합당 정호준 후보와 지지율면에서 엎치락뒤치락하고 있다. 이런 분위기를 단 번에 뒤집을 만한 분위기 반전 카드가 지난 1일 대중들 앞에 첫 선을 보였다. 원조 한류스타 배우 이영애가 대중들 앞에 모습을 드러냈다.

이영애는 이날 정진석 후보의 선거 유세장에 남편인 정호영씨와 손을 잡고 모습을 드러냈다. 2009년 8월 24일 미국 하와이에서 극비리에 결혼했고, 국내서 쌍둥이 출산 후 공식적인 활동을 중단한 상태라 그의 등장은 대중들의 관심을 끌기에 충분했다.

이영애는 남편 정씨와 정 후보의 친분 관계 때문에 현장에 나타났다. 그는 시민들에게 "오랫동안 봐온 분인데 진솔하고 겸손한 분이다. 많은 성원 보내달라"며 지지를 호소했다. 이날 모습은 정 후보의 트위터에 공개돼 온라인에서 화제를 모았다.

2006 미스코리아 진출신의 이하늬도 외삼촌인 민주통합당 문희상 후보 지원 전에 뛰어 든 상태다. 이영애가 유세장에 모습을 드러낸 날 이하늬 역시 문 후보의 지역구 출마 지역인 경기도 의정부시 행복로 일대를 돌며 시민들과 악수를 나누는 등 홍보에 열을 올렸다.

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