This is the love story of a backwoods Tennessee man and his pet raccoon.
For years, Mark “Coonrippy” Brown enjoyed the company of his pet raccoon, Rebekah. He shared his love with the world last year in YouTube videos showing Coonrippy dancing, showering, and playing with his mask-faced companion.
But his videos didn’t just catch the attention of YouTube fans. Tennessee animal control authorities took notice as well. Shortly after seeing the videos, state authorities took Coonrippy’s beloved Rebekah away from home. The state said that wild animals are not fit to live as pets and may act in dangerous and erratic ways.
Like any pet owner, Coonrippy was bummed. So bummed, in fact, that he announced plans to run for governor in order to get his little friend back.
"This is all about the raccoon," Brown said.
Brown became especially angered after a petition he sent to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam asking for his raccoon back was returned unopened. The petition had over 60,000 signatures on it. Brown now intends to get back at Haslam by taking his job.
"Gov. Haslam ignored the cries from the entire United States," Brown said. "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.”
Brown intends to “expose the people in office who are not for the people” with his run.
"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."
Here is video of Coonrippy with his buddy Rebekah: