Peter Shatner — decidedly not William Shatner’s son — is running for Congress
Image via Peter Shatner.

Peter Shatner
Shatner, who once believed he was the famous actor's son, hopes to face Kathy Castor in CD 14.

A man who for years thought he was the son of Star Trek actor William Shatner is running for Congress in Florida’s 14th Congressional District.

Shatner, who was previously Peter Sloan, plans to run as a Republican in the Tampa-based district currently held by Democrat Kathy Castor, he confirmed to Florida Politics.

Shatner isn’t as famous as his not-dad of Captain Kirk fame, but he certainly has made a name for himself over the years, appearing in various articles about his believed parentage. That includes an exposé in The National Enquirer declaring that the younger Shatner was the actor’s secret love child.

He believed William Shatner was his biological father up until late 2022 when a DNA test definitively proved he was not, in fact, the son of a famous actor.

Now Shatner, a life insurance salesman by trade, is eyeing a new direction for CD 14.

In a confirmation to Florida Politics of his candidacy — he’s not yet listed in any official documents as a candidate — Shatner’s tone was markedly different from what many have come to expect of those seeking elected office. He offered praise for Castor’s years of service and vowed to wage a positive, issues-based campaign.

“But I believe our district deserves a different approach,” he said. “I believe it’s time for fresh leadership and new ideas to address the challenges facing our community. I’m looking forward to engaging in a listening campaign with the voters, discussing their concerns and working toward solutions that will benefit everyone in our district.”

Shatner doesn’t appear to have a campaign website yet, but he does have a site for his side hustle — Peter Shatner Dance Party. The website describes the band as “spectral music for your party.”

Through DNA testing, Shatner learned that his biological father was Benjamin Freedman, who passed away more than two decades ago. In a twist of irony, Freedman was also a life insurance salesman. He maintained the Shatner surname, he told the Tampa Bay Times, because it was “a real hassle to change it” in the first place.

Shatner’s mother was Canadian actress Kathy Burt. She gave Shatner up for adoption to George And Barbara Orick, according to the Times. They divorced and Barbara remarried John Sloan, who then adopted Shatner, giving him the Sloan name.

It was Burt who told Shatner before her death that William Shatner might be his father — that or some other guy she could only remember as “Chick.”

Shatner had a chance to meet with William Shatner in the ’80s, telling him they may indeed be related, though later said he would not go public with a connection.

So it’s not like he was making up the relationship for fame or money, and he told the Times in late 2022 that he really just wanted to know where he came from.

Now he knows, and he has since gotten to know his biological brother, who was able to fill him in on details about his late biological father’s life.

Shatner, even with a famous last name, will likely have a hard fight on his hands in his bid for Congress. Castor has served the district since 2006 and hasn’t faced a significant challenge for her seat since.

The Florida Department of State lists five additional challengers — three Republicans, a third-party candidate and a candidate unaffiliated with a party. The Federal Division of Elections lists three Republicans running, not including Shatner. That means he’ll have to get through a Primary before taking on Castor.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    February 16, 2024 at 4:54 pm

    Florida’s own Christine Therese O’Donnell (born August 27, 1969, or George Santos R New York……. Just another proud member of today’s failing GQP.

  • Julia

    February 16, 2024 at 5:29 pm

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    February 16, 2024 at 5:30 pm

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  • The Dunning-Krugers of Florida

    February 16, 2024 at 8:05 pm

    I’m not Leonard Nimoy’s son but this is the dumbest floridiot so far

  • The Ex

    February 27, 2024 at 9:36 am

    Maybe instead of wasting money on a campaign that he cannot possibly win he should consider paying his daughter the money he promised for her wedding last October, helping her pay down some of her student loans that she is accumulating while in school or possibly contributing to her medical expenses for her cancer treatment.

    Oh wait.. I forgot… his need for attention trumps anyone else’s needs. That’s right. Silly me.

Comments are closed.


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