The cast also includes a high-stakes poker player, an ex-NFL cheerleader, a nuclear engineer and former NBA All-Star Cliff Robinson.
In a biography released by the network, Samson lists as his claim to fame getting the government in Miami to "contribute over $350 million to a new baseball park during the recession." Critics called the financing plan a taxpayer rip-off, and a backlash against the deal resulted in the recall of the county mayor.
As for while he thinks he'll win, Samson said, "I always win, because people underestimate me."
The new season of "Survivor" takes place in Cagayan, a province in the Philippines.