It is one of those things—where do we even start?Mark 'Coonrippy' Brown, with his shower buddy Rebekah

How about with the word Coonrippy, a nickname for a gun dealer named Mark Brown. Mr. Brown loves raccoons; he even had a pet raccoon named Gunshow. But what makes Mark “Coonrippy” Brown significant is that he is running for governor in Tennessee because, well, her name is Rebekah:

A Gallatin man who made national headlines when state wildlife officials confiscated his pet raccoon last year has announced he is running for governor.

Mark “Coonrippy” Brown, 55, pulled a petition for the office on Friday with intentions to challenge incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam in the Republican primary in August.

“This is all about the raccoon,” Brown said.



The backstory here is that Coonrippy thinks the government came after him and his raccoons because they were popular.

Jason Lamb of WVTF television reorted in August that, “Mark Brown took in the raccoon after he said it was going to be killed after the racoon went after chickens at a local high school.”

He has made minor fame for himself by posting videos including one of him showering with the raccoon. But therein lies another problem; raccoons, in Tennessee as in many other states, are considered wild animals, and cannot be kept as household pets.

One can easily make a case for keeping something like a raccoon; they’re hardly endangered, though the question of whether they are adorably cute or downright mean seems one that will never be resolved. To the other, though, running for governor?

Well, you know. Okay. The raccoon platform might well be legitimate; we need not complain that it exists.

However, as Tena Lee reports for the Gallatin News Examiner:

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.”

The licensed firearms dealer and former city of Gallatin employee said he’s not deterred by his lack of political experience and hopes to capitalize on his outsider status.

“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.”

Coonrippy for governor? Okay, this ought to be a fun one to watch.


Lee, Tena. “Gallatin man enters gubernatorial race after state ignores petition to return raccoon”. The Tennesseean. January 3, 2014. January 6, 2014.

Lamb, Jason. “Gallatin Man Fights To Get Pet Raccoon Back”. WTVF. August 13, 2013. January 6, 2014.

Edwards, David. “Tennessee man runs for governor in GOP primary for right to shower with his raccoon”. The Raw Story. January 6, 2014. January 6, 2014.

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