Mark "Coonrippy" Brown achieved internet fame by dancing with a raccoon and advertising raccoon repellent, among other videos. That success brought its own problems, when Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials confiscated his pet raccoon Rebekah. Coonrippy is upset, and has announced his intentions to run for governor against incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam in the August Republican primary.
Brown said his letter to TWRA officials seeking a permit went unanswered and a petition to Haslam with over 60,000 signatures was returned unopened.
"Gov. Haslam ignored the cries from the entire United States," he said.
The Gallatin High School graduate said that by running for governor he hopes to "expose the people in office who are not for the people."
"He can free prisoners, he can pardon people, but he refused the online petition and refused to accept the letter," he said. "All eyes were on Tennessee and it made us look bad. It made it look like we were under Caesar's law."
Brown said he has plenty of support for a campaign on Facebook, YouTube and "the media across the planet."