Mark “Coonrippy” Brown, the YouTube star who went viral over the summer after videos of him showering and dancing in the shower with a pet raccoon became huge hits, is running for governor of Tennessee as part of his bid to get back the confiscated coon.
Brown, 55, is trying to defeat incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam in Tennessee’s Republican primary in August. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which operates under Haslam, seized Brown’s raccoon, Rebekah, due to the YouTube videos.
Brown announced his intention to run for Tennessee governor Jan. 3 with the following video:
Brown, of Gallatin, Tenn., has yet to create an official campaign website. The 55-year-old told WBIR he wouldn’t be running for governor if he still had Rebekah.
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“This is all about the raccoon,” he said.
A petition on Change.org asking Haslam to return Rebekah to Brown amassed more than 6,000 signatures.
“We understand that there are laws and rules but there should always exceptions as every situation in life and government do not always fall into a category,” the petition reads. “Please return Rebekah to the only family she has ever known.”
Brown is blaming Haslam for the seizure of Rebekah.
“Gov. Haslam ignored the cries from the entire United States,” Coonrippy said, referring to the petition. "He can free prisoners, he can pardon people, but he refused the online petition and refused to accept the letter. All eyes were on Tennessee and it made us look bad. It made it look like we were under Caesar's law."
The YouTube video showing Brown showering with Rebekah, which you can view below, has more than 385,000 views:
Brown told WBIR that he believed the state went after him because of YouTube videos featuring another raccoon, Gunshow.
He said part of his running for governor is because he thinks the country is too politically correct.
"We've got to take this country back one state at a time," he said. "We live in the United States of the Offended -- not the United States of America.”