A former adult-film star looking to shake things up in his community is running for a seat on the Palm Beach County, Florida, school board.
David Mech, 38, says the school board is not progressive enough and needs a change. "The current board is operating with an outdated mindset on issues related to technology, innovation, equality, sex education and secular values," he says on his website.
As for his past as adult-film actor "Dave Pounder," he argues that it shouldn't be the focus of the race. "The entire reason that this is a national news story has nothing to do with myself, my character or anything that I've been involved with: my level of education, et cetera. It's merely this one caveat of myself, which is this association, which is a perfectly lawful, adult media business," Mech told ABC News today.
Mech, who runs a math tutoring service, is running against town candidates, including incumbent Karen Brill. The Bronx-born New Yorker and mother of four who worked for publisher Malcolm Forbes while in the Big Apple has lived in South Florida for more than 25 years. "Everybody does have the right to run and to express their opinions," Brill says of her challenger.
He's no stranger to the board because of his federal lawsuit against the district, which removed signs from schools advertising his tutoring service after his past came to light, according to the Sun Sentinel newspaper. He calls the action a violation of his civil rights.
Mech, who said he has also worked for General Electric and Wachovia Bank, believes he is more than qualified to serve on the seven-member board. "People just have an irrational fear of the adult-film industry," Mech says. "And, by someone like myself that has a perfect background: I've never been arrested, I've never done a drug in my life, I'm well educated," he continues. "I'm very well qualified to do this job."
Mech joins a number of former adult film stars who've switched careers for a more conventional path. Most notable is real estate broker and Bravo television's Fredrik Eklund, who stars in the cable channel's successful reality series "Million Dollar Listings, New York." Before his run as one of New York City's most successful real estate agents, Eklund stared in the adult films under the name Tag Eriksson.
As with Mech, Eklund doesn't deny nor try to hide his past.
Despite the distraction of her opponent's past, Brill, the mother of an autistic son, says she hopes to continue her advocacy for education for all students despite income and learning disabilities. "One of my main goals is making sure that all our students graduate college or are career ready," she said.
Mech, meanwhile, says he has no regrets about his past. "Absolutely not! I made good money, I had a good lifestyle and my motivation has always been lifestyle-based," he said. "I've never been about making money, I've always been about creating a lifestyle where I could sleep in every day, wear shorts and wear sandals."
The District 3 School Board primary is set for Aug 26.