Florida state rep Mike Weinstein talks about his catchy campaign ad

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When speaking to Florida Republican state representative Mike Weinstein on the phone, one gets the image of a reserved gentleman whose most energetic activity is playing patty cake with his grandson. His campaign video for his reelection bid, however, exudes nothing but pep.

Weinstein’s catchy music video has caught the attention and imagination of the national media, largely because it looks as though it could have been made around 1993. Complete with visors, baggy pants, and awkwardly contrived dance moves, the ad would easily fit into an advertisement break during an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” – when the show was still in its prime. And, to clarify, the video is not a parody.

Mike Weinstein, who is running on a education and public safety platform, is proud of his advertisement. “We’ve had it all over the place, even on the radio,” he said.

Weinstein’s son Scott, who goes by his stage name Scott Leigh and runs his own entertainment company, produced the campaign ad. Leigh said he approached his father to do the ad because he had the experience and ability to do it at a low cost to the campaign.“I know some people in the biz and really our only big costs were the cameraman and rental of the venue.” Leigh explained further, “He isn’t an R&B or Hip Hop kind of guy, but we needed to shake it up so we went with rock.”

Leigh wrote, produced, choreographed and danced the lead in the music video. “I used to sing and dance all over the country,” he said. “I am a very artsy person and I was able to do a lot with this video.”

“He was always a great dancer,” Weinstein said of his son. “He wrestled in school but got back into entertainment as an adult…all you have to do is give him a topic and he will write a song!”

Leigh and his production company, Education Through Entertainment, do educational shows in schools and churches, putting lessons for young children to song. He is excited about the upcoming presentation of his most recent project, the abduction prevention music video.

Leigh said he made the video because he wanted to help his father connect with the youth vote. “Republicans are getting a bad rap, that they can’t reach the young people. There is a disconnect. What I wanted to do was make it accessible and music is a great way,” Leigh explained.

Weinstein and Leigh have been surprised at the popularity of their video. “We have not promoted the video at all but it has spread really well, gone viral…I don’t even know how to upload a video on Facebook,” Leigh said. “I am happy especially because politics has gotten so nasty and this isn’t.”

Leigh acknowledges that he used the same tools in the campaign video that he uses in his educational children’s music, namely, repetition, enunciation, and easy words.

“As bad as it sounds,” Leigh said, “I bet you remember Mike-Mike-Mike Weinstein.”

And he is correct. There are least 4 people in this office who have yet to shake the song out of their heads.


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Caroline May