When Sonny Bono declared his bid for Palm Springs mayor on Feb. 6, 1987, it was more than one year before the election.
Bono had lived in the city for two years, though part-time for years before that, and had openly talked about considering a campaign.
When he announced it formally, the businessman and entertainer summed up his love for Palm Springs:
“I like it here. I’m a businessman,” said Bono, who runs a restaurant and tennis complex called Bono’s. ”But there’s an attitude problem. We need to grow,” he said Friday.
“My goal is to make this the desert French Riviera – the playground for Los Angeles and California. This is one of the great glamour capitals in the world.”
In honor of the 26 years since Sonny Bono first launched his political career, we’ve grabbed some of the most popular Desert Sun headlines from his mayoral term:
Feb. 11, 1988: “Palm Springs mayoral candidates clash in forum”
Two candidates in the mayor’s race charged Wednesday that the city is being run poorly, but an incumbent and a former councilman defended their actions as city officials. …
Sonny Bono criticized the strict ordinances, budget problems and the lack of communication by officials with the public.
“It’s real simple,” Bono said. “There is a clique that controls this city. If you’re in, you’re in. But if you’re out, you’re way out.”
Feb. 25, 1988: “Will ‘Hairspray’ set up Sonny Bono for stylish parts”
Sonny Bono’s role in the film “Hairspray” may be the acting break the Palm Springs restauranteur and mayoral candidate has been looking for.
April 12, 1988: Sonny Bono elected mayor, beating out six other candidates.
Dec. 30, 1988: “Everybody wants Bono shirts, babe”
A USA Today television show featuring a segment on Mayor Sonny Bono has prompted a local and nationwide run on his T-shirts.
Dec. 1, 1989: “Recall drive’s charges anger Bono”
Mayor Sonny Bono said Thursday he is considering legal action against a cluster of critics pressing a recall effort against him.
Hours after leaders of the Save Palm Springs recall group charged that Bono illegally used city employees for political purposes, the mayor lashed back.
Dec. 2, 1989: “Bono won’t be investigated”
Riverside County District Attorney Grover Trask will not launch a probe of Mayor Sonny Bono’s political conduct, saying the information and allegations submitted by Save Palm Springs leaders is insufficient to warrant an investigation.
Sept. 14, 1990: “Senator Bono? Mayor admits higher office is calling”
Sonny Bono’s first term as mayor may be his last. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “I have to question whether for another four years I want to just continue being mayor of Palm Springs.”
Sept. 30, 1990: Sonny Bono declares his Senate campaign.
We’ve got the Nov. 14, 1990, front page — with a photo of Mayor Bono talking about his Senate race — on our Facebook page.