Candidate bit by vampire charges

On his campaign website, Jake Rush (R) stresses to primary voters of Florida’s 3rd congressional district that he is “not a politician,” in the usual mold. However, he has “taken an oath three times.” In each of these oaths, Rush has placed his hand “on a Bible” and sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Whether his hand then burst into flames is contested. The story broke yesterday that Rush is a vampire, sort of.

According to SaintPetersBlog, Rush is “living a double life, one that would rival Jekyll and Hyde — except it is all too real.” By day, he is a former sheriff’s deputy turned attorney with political aspirations. By night, well, he’s a vampire, among other things.

Reporter Peter Schorsch uncovered Rush’s long history with the Live Action Role Playing (LARP) organization known as Mind’s Eye, or MES, which is “a nationwide community of gothic-punk role-players who come together to take on personas of vampires and other supernatural beings.”

SaintPetersBlog found Rush had taken on a number of role playing personas “with names like Darling, van de Winst, Johan Gambrys, Zane Daily, The Kriesler, Archbishop Kettering and more.” The website cautioned that it wasn’t bringing to light the antics of “some teenager playing Dungeons and Dragons in his mom’s basement.”

No, Rush’s LARPing is a much more “adult” enterprise. On a wiki website, Rush put up images that “range between the utterly childish and the truly disturbing,” and wrote things that were at least equally disturbing.

In one publicly available letter — and this is about the most cleaned-up quote one can extract, I swear, Mom — Rush wrote to a female LARPer that she “shouldn’t believe everything that people tell you or you’re going to end up naked and sore, tied to the floor of a van marked ‘Free Candy.’”

News of Rush’s vampirism added a little bit of spice to April Fools’ Day with such headlines as:

Meet Jake Rush, Florida congressional candidate and vampire (Vanity Fair)

Would you vote for a (fake) vampire? (The Hill)

Florida man runs for Congress, embraces his cosplay/rape fantasy past (Gawker)

Vampire LARP-ing candidate accuses his opponent of being too liberal (Slate)

That last story, by blogger and friend Dave Weigel, included a press release in which Rush’s spokesman said this was all one big attempt by opponent, incumbent Rep. Ted Yoho (R), “to deflect from his moral and personal failings.”

Rush’s campaign damned Yoho as a “liberal-libertarian.” It charged the first-term Tea Party favorite with having cast “a vote to fund Obamacare, a vote for the budget, a vote to cut Veterans benefits, and an isolationist foreign affairs policy.”

Weigel pointed out that the congressman has actually voted to defund Obamacare several times “even when his leadership begged him not to.” But apparently Rush’s fact checker sucks, too.

Jeremy Lott About the author:
Jeremy Lott helped found and manage four publications for the Real Clear Politics family of websites. He is the author of three books and an e-book, as well as the recognized ghostwriter of former Maryland governor Marvin Mandel’s memoirs. Follow him on Twitter @jeremylottdiary
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