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Reality show gives Palin 'relative' a shot

Levi Johnston may be following in Sarah Palin's footsteps. His manager, Tank Jones, has confirmed a report on Variety Magazine's website that Mr Johnston is planning to run for city office in his home town of Wasilla, Alaska, as part of a reality TV show.

Mr Johnston, 20, is the father of Ms Palin's grandson, Tripp, and the recently off-again flame to her daughter, Bristol. Wasilla is where Ms Palin got her start in politics, moving up from city council to mayor, before winning election as Alaska's governor in 2006.

Mr Jones said Mr Johnston is serious about a run. "Let me put it to you like this: if you live in a town and things are happening you're displeased with, what do you do? You try to change those things," Mr Jones said. He insisted the run is real. "This is not a spoof. This is not a joke."

According to the Wasilla city clerk, the next mayoral election is in 2011. The candidate filing period for council elections this October closed 30 July. Mr Johnston isn't listed among those candidates.

Mr Johnston has seemingly come to embrace the spotlight since first being thrust into it in 2008, amid Ms Palin's bid for vice-president, when he and Bristol were unwed teenagers expecting a child together.

He's since gone on to pose for Playgirl and appear on a reality show.