WALLINGFORD | The 15-year-old Iowan running for president as "Deez Nuts" was not happy to be talking about his candidacy.

Brady Olson loves politics, but the sophomore at Graettinger-Terril Community School would rather not have reporters waiting for him to get home from band practice.

"If it were up to him, he wouldn't do anything," said his father, Mark Olson, who went outside to break the news to Brady. "Anything but an email interview."

It was Brady's 12-year-old brother, Tyson, who suggested Brady run under the name of Deez Nuts, a catchphrase from a viral Internet video.

In late July, they were at their home on the family's rural Wallingford farm, two brothers just joking around.

"I guess he said something and I'm like, 'That'd be interesting,'" Brady said. "And, I filled out the form it was official. Then, two days later the media found out."

He mentioned it to the family, but no one took it seriously. They more or less forgot about it.

Then Brady heard Deez Nuts mentioned on a late-night program on the Comedy Central cable channel.

Soon, Rolling Stone magazine called. That's when reporters realized Brady was 15. The phone has been ringing ever since.

"It's a whirlwind," said his mother, Teresa Olson.

Teresa has the unenviable task of managing the chaos resulting from her son's candidacy. That's on top of her jobs as office manager at an area dental practice and overseeing vacation rentals in the nearby Iowa Great Lakes.

A local photographer offered a free session — including poses with the American flag. Teresa had to bribe Brady with Big Macs to get him to go.

"It's very much a double-edged sword, because yes, Brady created this and had no intention in the world of ever wanting any publicity from it," Teresa said. "He truly loves politics and, in his mind, he feels he can truly make a difference and change the political system to include people under 35."

Brady's next big decision focuses on the Graettinger Labor Day Parade.

He already planned to march in that parade as a percussionist in the Graettinger-Terril Titans band, but should he instead shake hands as presidential candidate Deez Nuts? 

"I don't think any other candidates are going to Graettinger," he cracked dryly, smiling at the thought. "They don't want to sway that town of 800."

Graettinger is four times the size of Wallingford, a city about 63 miles west of Forest City.

The family's ranch-style farmhouse is east of town, bordered by two lakes. It's about a half hour east of Okoboji, Iowa and 14 miles from the Minnesota border.

Mark Olson has a grain and cattle operation and Teresa Olson is a 4-H leader, but the boys aren't into farming.

Tyson, a seventh-grader who calls himself Brady's "interpreter," is as outgoing as his older brother is reserved.

Brady is the kind of kid who follows politics and runs for president. Tyson, more likely a political operative than candidate, likes to throw a machete and tomahawk at a target in the front yard.

"I make my own sports," Tyson explained.

Politically, Brady is "half to the left (and) half to the right."

"On the social issues I agree with the Democrats, but Republicans on the money stuff," he said.

Naturally, he's thought about a potential running mate.

"Limberbutt McCubbins the cat, or just anyone that says yes that has a decent amount of support," he said.

Brady has opinions of all of the candidates, especially Donald Trump. Brady is not a fan.

His impression of Trump's accent is pretty good. His mimic of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's southern drawl is even better.

The number of candidates and the way they're going at each other make this year's political race is more exciting than usual, he said.

"The fact that everyone is basically taking each other out and I'm just climbing in the polls," Brady said. "And, if Donald runs as an independent that just helps me even more."

With the Graettinger parade decision still undecided, Brady's not actively doing anything to campaign -- no buttons, no hands, no walking door to door -- but his mother still has her hands full keeping things organized. Reporters keep calling.

In a Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina voters released last week, 9 percent of the participants said they would vote for Nuts over Trump and Hillary Clinton. Nuts' favorability rating stood at just 8 percent but 81 percent said they were undecided on him.

Brady, who was eager for the New Hampshire figures, was unwavering Tuesday at his kitchen table.

Naturally reserved but with a dry, quick wit, Brady tended to keep his answers short. He got on a roll a few times, though, reliving the agony of the Iowa Hawkeyes' mediocre seasons or theorizing why Donald Trump is the way he is.

The last exchange ended with a disapproving noise from his mother. Realizing he'd probably taken the Trump thing too far, Brady wisely let it go.

Realistically, Brady is too young to be president. He is hoping local voters will throw him a bone and vote for Deez Nuts.

"Win a county or something," he said, then seized on an idea. "Win Wallingford. That can happen...Maybe."

In 2012, he watched news coverage until the winners were announced.

This year?

"I don't know," Brady said. "It's a Tuesday night, so..."

His mother knew.

"Homework."

 

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