A Republican candidate for the Maine state Senate has come under scrutiny after a video surfaced in which he danced around a room in nothing but a Speedo. But Eric Brakey thinks that the odd discovery may end up being a positive.
In the video, Brakey, 24, was observed dancing around in a red Speedo as part of a commercial for “Vita Coco,” a brand of coconut water, the New York Daily News reports. The racy clip has outraged local conservative leaders, causing some to question whether Brakey is fit to hold a seat in Maine’s Senate. One activist, former Christian Civic League employee and noted local conservative Mike Hein, claims that the Speedo video makes Brakey look like “a demon possessed.”
Brakey laughed off the controversy, pointing out that he is an actor by profession. He described the Vita Coco commercial as a “great, fun opportunity,” and adds that it was an outtake from a “comedy piece,” the Portland Press Herald reports.
“It shows that I’m a full human being with more experience than just working in politics,” Brakey told the Press Herald. “I think that’s something that people want. It shows I’m not just a career politician … I’m a professional actor.”
Brakey, a resident of New Gloucester, is chairman of the Defense of Liberty PAC, a libertarian-leaning group, and is an ardent supporter for former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, the Press Herald notes. Detractors question whether Brakey, who is running as a Republican, is fully committed to conservative values. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. ‘Family Values Matter’ State Senate candidate himself flamboyantly prancing around in his underwear,” Hein wrote in a comment on Brakey’s YouTube channel.
Hein was also responsible for circulating an altered version of Brakey’s Speedo dance video, the Press Herald reports. The altered footage focuses exclusively on Brakey, and was manipulated to freeze and rewind parts of his dance routine. Hein claims that he wasn’t responsible for doctoring the video, and isn’t sure who was responsible for doing so.
Brakey dismissed Hein’s actions, calling a press conference Tuesday to address the situation, the Press Herald reports. “I would be concerned that my campaign wasn’t on the right path if we weren’t being attacked by Mike Hein,” he wrote on Twitter.