The list of endorsements for unaffiliated candidate Mike Dunafon’s bid for Colorado governor looks more like a roundup of hip-hop Grammy nominees than a run for state office.
In recent weeks, Wyclef Jean and Snoop Dogg have individually announced their support of Dunafon. Public Enemy’s Professor Griff moderated a debate between Dunafon and some of the lesser-known gubernatorial candidates in early October. And the list will continue to grow with other stars signing on, according to Dunafon, known for his big personality and sweeping campaign promises.
But why are these rappers drawn to Dunafon, who’s more rural than urban? They all agree on legal marijuana, realistic regulations and moderate taxes, an issue that separates Dunafon from opponents Gov. John Hickenlooper (who was against the pot-legalizing Amendment 64) and his Republican challenger Bob Beauprez (who recently said legal sales should be repealed).
“It’s a miracle plant,” said Dunafon, the Glendale mayor who doesn’t get high or smoke marijuana but juices raw cannabis leaves for energy and uses CBD oils as a sleep aid.
It’s a convincing message from a charismatic man, and these A-list hip-hop artists have even donated their time and talents to record tracks that outline Dunafon’s campaign platform. And Dunafon doesn’t even listen to hip-hop.
“(Wyclef Jean) said to me, ‘Why don’t we cut a hip-hop,’ ” Dunafon said of his first encounter with the Grammy-nominated rapper and producer earlier this year at the 420 Rally in Civic Center. “And I said, ‘These are cowboy boots.’ ”