This year's crop of midterm election candidates include a Santa Claus impersonator, a hog-castrating state senator, a supernatural role-player and a radiologist who is a little too fascinated with his patients' X-rays. Below are some of the most idiosyncratic and unconventional candidates running in congressional and gubernatorial races across the country.
Rush, an attorney who is challenging Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), led a double life. Until late last year, he also went by alternative identities such as "Chazz Darling" and "Staas van der Winst" as a member of the Mind's Eye Society, a group of gothic-punk role-players who pretend to be supernatural beings like vampires.
Rush defended his hobby
, saying he's simply "a gamer" with "a deep appreciation for theatre."
Grothman, who is taking on Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) in the state's 6th District, has advocated for a number of deeply unpopular policy positions
, like making public employees work on Martin Luther King Day and reverting to a seven-day work week.
He has also said Kwanzaa is a fake holiday
that "almost no black people today care about."
Bennett, who is running in the Republican primary to succeed Gov. Jan Brewer (R), threatened to leave President Barack Obama off the ballot
in Arizona if Hawaii didn't verify Obama's birthplace.
He made the threat a year after the White House produced Obama's long-form birth certificate.
Woolf, who is running to succeed retiring Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), has an unconventional background
as a congressional candidate: He is a documentary filmmaker who made the award-winning "King Corn" and the owner of an organic deli and grocery store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called "Urban Rustic."
The 24-year-old Misiuk
is an engaged father of one child and a second-year student at the University of Southern Maine.
He is attempting
to unseat Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and may be the youngest congressional candidate in the country.
Ernst, who will challenge Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) seat in November, gained crucial momentum in her primary by running an ad
in which she proudly touted her background castrating hogs, saying she knows "how to cut pork."
Wolf is a a radiologist and tea party activist who is challenging Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). His campaign came under fire in February after it was revealed that he had posted and commented
on his patients' X-ray photographs on Facebook in 2010. Some of those patients included fatal gunshot victims.
Wolf has also compared his distant cousin, who happens to be President Barack Obama, to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
LePage, who has been called "America's Craziest Governor
" and "The Worst Governor Of All
," is up for reelection in November.
In one famous incident, he told the NAACP to "kiss my butt
" when the group complained that he had refused to attend a Martin Luther King Day breakfast. He also said President Barack Obama could "go to hell
" and told attendees at a fundraiser that the president "hates white people
LePage also once told students
: "If you want a good education, go to private schools. If you can't afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school."