Nate "Honey Badger" Atkins is running for House as a GOPer, and he doesn't give a shit

Atkins represents a new type of MNGOPer, one that just doesn't give a shit.
Atkins represents a new type of MNGOPer, one that just doesn't give a shit.

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Nate Atkins is part of a rare species, and it's not because he calls himself the "honey badger" -- it's because he's a "Republican" living in Minneapolis.

Atkins, 36 and a services coordinator for a material handling company by day, first made a name for himself in Minnesota politics in 2010, when he ran against Paul Thissen for House under the MNGOP banner. Though Thissen received more than twice as many votes, Atkins ended up receiving a respectable 29 percent of the ballots cast.

Atkins is again opposing Thissen as an MNGOPer, but this time around, he's taking a bolder approach. Spoofing on the viral "The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger" YouTube clip, Atkins' campaign slogan is "Nate the Honey Badger: Doesn't Give A Shit, He's Running For House."

He explains the "honey badger" nickname on his website:

Atkins created more than a dozen snazzy posters for his campaign, including this one.
Atkins created more than a dozen snazzy posters for his campaign, including this one.

The "Honey Badger" nickname was given to him by some co-workers because of his reluctance to give a sh!t, his fearlessness, and the tenacity with which he gets things done. He believes it is time we had a representative who isn't going to give a sh!t about corporate interests, lobbyists, or their wicked, enabling, government brethren. Someone who will smack the sh!t out of them (figuratively, of course) just as a honey badger smacks the sh!t out of a cobra.

Doesn't sound like a typical Republican, does it? Neither does most of Atkins' takes on the issues -- he's pro-gay marriage, pro-marijuana legalization ("People should be able to choose what they eat, what they drink, and even what they smoke," Atkins says), and very anti-Vikings stadium (and corporate welfare in general).

Atkins was endorsed by a Minneapolis branch of the MNGOP (see comment thread below), but he was the only Republican candidate interested in running against Thissen. And clearly, his views fall somewhere outside of the GOP mainstream.

"In the urban areas, there aren't any Republicans willing to run in the first place," Atkins told City Pages. "It's just a matter of going to the Secretary of State's office and registering there."

Nonetheless, Atkins hopes his candidacy will get the MNGOP to reconsider the party's stance on a variety of issues.

"There are things [the MNGOP] should believe in, because they say they are for limited government and don't want government meddling in families, but they go forth with a marriage amendment that defines marriage as a man and a woman, contradictory to state principles."

"They say they are for markets free from government intrusion, but I don't know how many Republicans voted for the Vikings stadium," he continued. "That seemed like a glaringly obvious contradiction."

Atkins hopes to win more votes this year than he did in 2010, but said his main goal in running for House "is to educate, to make people aware of things." Though Thissen pretty much ignores his campaign, Atkins said he'd love to have some "town hall debates" with the House Minority Leader.

"I think it'd be great if I won, but I'm not exactly holding out hope," Atkins said. "I realize it's Minneapolis for crying out loud."

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