Bearded man behind debate moderator goes viral as #debatedaddy

While Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE were clashing on the debate stage Thursday night over big donors, another person was secretly stealing attention online: #debatedaddy.

Luke Collis is a former Arena Football League player who, according to HuffPost, has also worked on political campaigns including that of former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams. But during the last Democratic primary debate of 2019, people were thirsting after him on Twitter as "the hot bearded guy" or "#debatedaddy" behind moderator Judy Woodruff.

"Went to the #DemDebates tonight," Collis wrote on Twitter, identifying himself as the man people were tweeting about. "Couldn’t see a thing because I was behind the moderators. But they showed me on tv and gay twitter made a thing of it! From the bottom of my heart, thank you gay twitter. Absolutely made my night." 

 

 
HuffPost reached out to Collis, who said he got the prominent seat because it was one of the few seats left after he was stuck in Los Angeles traffic ahead of the debate. 
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“We were getting made fun of for how unfortunate our seats were! Jokes on them I guess, because I’ve been feeling all this love from the internet,” he told HuffPost. 
 
“My confidence in my beard has never been higher," he also told the outlet. "There are so many stories about online bullying and the internet being used as a negative space. I just think it’s cool when we can use it to build each other up. Lucky to be on the positive side of things."