Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will face a challenger in the Republican primary in his re-election bid this year: A guy whose pet raccoon was taken away by the state.

Meet Mark Brown, 55, known by the nickname "Coonrippy."

His beef with Haslam is personal, too. A petition with 60,000-plus signatures asking Brown be allowed to keep raccoons, such as the ones he named Rebekah and Gunshow, "was returned unopened," the Gallatin (Tenn.) News-Examiner reported.

It's illegal in Tennessee -- and many other states -- to keep animals as pets if they're taken from the wild. That includes squirrels, raccoons and deer.

The state wildlife management agency last year confiscated a baby deer named Tinkerbell who was being raised as a pet in a home in the Memphis suburbs, whom the Commercial-Appeal reported "was eating potato chips, drinking wine, jumping up and down on a bed and intracting closely with dogs and small children." (The agency got onto Tinkerbell's captivity after YouTube footage of her went viral.)

Lizards, snakes, turtles and baby birds are also off-limits, the state wildlife agency points out on its website.

“We’ve got to take this country back one state at a time,” Brown told the News-Examiner. “We live in the United States of the Offended — not the United States of America."

Read the complete story via the Tennessean at the link below.

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