Jeff Wagner on his viral half-naked mayoral campaign ad [VIDEO]
This guy for mayor.
On Tuesday, Minneapolis heard from another one of its 35 candidates for mayor when Jeff Wagner released his first campaign video. In the days since, it's spread around the internet, inspiring a BuzzFeed list and sparking headlines like, "Is this the greatest campaign ad ever made?"
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The video opens with a woman standing next to a lake, telling the camera, "You know what I want? A Minneapolis mayor that really represents the people." Right on cue, Wagner emerges from the deep and begins walking out of the lake with a coffee mug (filled with lake water?) firmly in hand. The woman disappears. Wagner starts yelling.
Listen up, he says. He's cool making $100,000 a year. He won't take money from developers. He won't even go to the strip clubs anymore! Minneapolis, wake the fuck up!
According to Wagner, the whole thing's a metaphor.
"The metaphor is, I'm protecting the Minneapolis lakes from the sharks," Wagner tells City Pages. "I look at the residents as the water, and the sharks are the corrupt others. They're everywhere."
While Wagner's Facebook identifies him as the "main dude" at the addiction recovery app "Sponsor Support," and his Twitter describes him as "born to make music video programming that pot smokers and beer drinkers will not turn the channel... on," we learned that he actually works at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. "I throw luggage," he explained. "I'm the one of the world's most gentle luggage-throwers."
In 20 minutes on the phone, Wagner railed against the "trolley" (i.e., the Nicollet Ave. streetcar proposal), talked about putting air conditioning in the city's schools, and bemoaned the ongoing Minnesota Orchestra lock-out.
"I'm not a politician, I'm just trying to change the way things are going," he said. "The truth is not even true."
Here are the highlights from our conversation:
Why the bathing suit in your video?
Jeff Wagner: I'm big into fashion, and it was fashion week in New York.
How do you feel now that the video is spreading?
JW: What happens now is, I become a threat to the other candidates.
How do you hope to fare in the election?
JW: I just want to get more votes than Captain Jack Sparrow. Ranked choice voting is going to be a trip. If I have a shot at third or fourth place, I'm happy.
What will you do if you're mayor?
JW: I'm a single guy. If I do win by some kind of computer glitch, my goal is to be Minneapolis's most eligible bachelor.
"Wake the fuck up":
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