As Maine’s incumbent Independent Senator Angus King is expected to coast to re-election in 2018, he didn’t attract any strong challengers. But he did attract the most opponents willing to wear Speedos in front of a camera.
Videos have been circulating of Republican nominee Eric Brakey wearing red Speedos while dancing to “Harlem Shake” and shaking maracas, and of Democratic nominee Zak Ringelstein singing his own country tune and wearing American flag Speedos (which he takes off completely by the end of the song).
Eric Brakey Dances for Vita Coco
Both videos are cringe-inducing, and neither was promoted by their respective campaigns. But each candidate managed to laugh it off.
Brakey’s “Harlem Shake” video was anonymously posted to a website posing as the official campaign site: http://ericbrakeyforsenate.com/ . But the initial video footage first leaked in 2013 when Brakey was running for a state Senate seat. The video came from an ad for Vita Coco coconut water in which Brakey, a working actor at a time, had a part. Brakey’s social conservative critics at the time tried, unsuccessfully, to argue the video proved he lacked “family values.”
Zak Ringelstein Sings Before Skinny-Dipping
The Ringelstein video comes from a music video he shot in 2016 for his song “Raised in the U.S.A.” when he was trying to make it as a country music artist with the stage name Zak Mountain. The video depicts a group of men and women partying by a lake and wearing patriotic swimwear before ending with a skinny-dip (viewers are saved from witnessing any actual nudity.) After becoming a schoolteacher, Ringelstein said he took the video off of YouTube so his students wouldn’t see it, but once he entered politics, the video surfaced anyway.
The Portland Press Herald reported, “Angus King remains the only candidate in a three-way race who hasn’t appeared in a Speedo. That we know of.”