New York House candidate releases his own sex tape

Usually, when a sex tape involving a political candidate is released, their race comes to an end early. But not for Mike Itkis.

Itkis released his own sex tape to demonstrate his “sex-positive approach.” The tape was uploaded to a porn site four months ago, but has only recently received traction. Itkis is running as an independent against a Democrat incumbent and a Republican challenger in a New York Congressional race. Independent candidates tend to struggle for coverage; however he has gained some attention with the tape’s release. 

Itkis is a major in the U.S. Army reserves where he has worked as a cyber operations officer. Itkis, who is running as an “independent liberal,” has built a platform around sex issues and reproductive rights. His website lists three main campaign issues: cyber security, sexual rights and ending the war in Ukraine. Releasing the tape has done little to his chances of winning the election against the established politician, but it certainly drew eyes to Itkis’s campaign. According to, Jerry Nadler, the Democrat incumbent, has a clear edge and the race is not competitive. 

“I mean I guess it is good that he’s sex positive, but this method just seems like a way to get people to pay attention to him,” said Columbia College Chicago student and New York native Lou Bagget.


Itkis said that he released this tape to prove how much he cares about the sex-positive causes in his platform. 

“If I would just talk about it, it wouldn’t demonstrate my commitment to the issue,” Itkis told City and State New York

One of Itkis’s opponents, Republican Mike Zumbluskas, expressed understanding as to why Itkis would release the tape. 

“You gotta do what you gotta do,” Zumblaskas said to City and State. “The media ignores everybody that’s not a Democrat in the city.”

Reactions to this unorthodox move are mixed, with many agreeing that this is not more than a publicity stunt.

“I get that he’s trying to be sex-positive, but a stunt like this will make the public take sex based issues less seriously,” DePaul junior Elijah Valter said. “He probably had some good intentions by doing this, but I think in the long run that it will hurt policy that wants to help with sex issues.”

While the release of the tape certainly earned Itkis his 15 minutes of fame, the effectiveness of this strategy is yet to be seen. With the midterm elections on Nov. 8, voters will soon find out if this “sex-positive approach” resonated with voters. 

“I think this is awesome actually,” said DePaul junior and standup comedian Zach Liss. “When politicians do things like this, it makes writing jokes so much easier. I do think the only reason he did this was for publicity, but it made me and comic friends laugh quite a bit.”