Candidates like telling voters about themselves and one contender found a way that’s little different.
Ryan Wilkins, a candidate for the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, has put out a video of himself rapping to the music of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.
Wilkins raps his resume, including serving as student president and student regent while at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, then attending law school and becoming an attorney for Union Pacific. He also says “the university is Nebraska’s lifeline” and encourages people to vote.
In the video the 35-year-old Omaha father of two young daughters — who along with his wife have cameos — also emphasizes that he would add a youthful voice to the board.
He also pokes some fun at himself. He raps, for example, that he grew up wishing he was cool kid Zack Morris in TV’s “Saved by the Bell,” but in reality was Screech, the nerd.
Wilkins, who posted the video on YouTube and on his campaign Facebook page Thursday, said he won’t have a lot of campaign money for direct mail and similar ways of sharing his background and qualifications. He said he figured a music video would be a fun way to do so, and gain attention on social media.
As of early Friday afternoon the video on his Facebook page had been viewed 50,000 times and shared more than 700 times.
Wilkins is competing in the board’s District 8 race against incumbent Hal Daub and Barbara Weitz.
Asked if he’d ever do a music video, Daub said: “I wish I could sing and dance.”
As for a music video for Weitz? “If you have heard me sing you’d beg me never to rap,” said Weitz, who was a social work instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for 18 years. She noted, though, that she’s done videos of her own, highlighting programs and students at NU campuses.
On Wilkins’ point about bringing a youthful voice to the board, Daub noted that the board has student regents representing NU’s campuses.
“We value that (youthful) perspective and the student regents very ably fulfill that,” said Daub, an attorney and former Omaha mayor and congressman.