Rapper and marijuana aficionado Snoop Dogg is proving that politics makes strange bedfellows, endorsing an unaffiliated (but libertarian-leading) dark horse candidate for governor of Colorado.
Snoop and artist Wyclef Jean are backing former Denver Bronco and current Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon to unseat Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper. The three recorded a remixed version of Snoop’s “The Trap” for Dunafon’s campaign.
Dunafon is the colorful head of the 4,000-person enclave in the heart of Denver, perhaps best known for leading a charge to save its iconic strip club, Shotgun Willies. He’s also popular for repealing outdated laws, championing the Second Amendment and preaching individual responsibility. On his website, he calls himself “the antithesis of a professional politician.”
Still, Dunafon has zero chance of winning the election; although there are at least five candidates, the race is between Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez. Quinnipiac University doesn’t even include Dunafon in its polls, and none of those surveyed during its latest poll chose the catchall “someone else” when asked who they would vote for.
Yet, Snoop still referred to Dunafon as “governor” in a recent Instagram photo of the two of them together.
Snoop’s interest in the candidate stems from the performer’s lifelong appreciation of cannabis and his support of laws legalizing it. Snoop is scheduled to perform as the main act at the “Yes We Cannabis” festival in Denver over the Halloween weekend.
He is reportedly in talks with Dunafon’s campaign to turn his appearance into a get-out-the-vote rally on Dunafon’s behalf.
“This is a way to energize people who have refused to become part of the political situation,” Dunafon said about Snoop’s appearance in an interview with the Durango Herald. “They have allowed governments to act upon them, and they’re tired of it. They have not seen the opportunity to actually empower themselves through the voting process, and that’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to defeat the other candidates.”
Still, in a tight race — Hickenlooper and Beauprez are virtually tied — Dunafon could wick votes away from the Democrat if the cannabis bloc votes in any substantial number.
Hickenlooper opposed Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot item that legalized adult recreational use of marijuana in Colorado. Although he has said he wouldn’t go so far as to call for the law’s repeal, as Beauprez has done, Hickenlooper is not seen as a champion of the marijuana movement.
The Trap, which includes the lyrics “government’s not the answer,” mocks a Colorado campaign to reduce teen pot smoking using giant rat cages as props. In the video — in which Dunafon puffs on a cigar and adds his gravely voice to the soundtrack — prisoners in jumpsuits are shown in the cages. One holds a sign that reads “We need places to smoke.”