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The Twitter profile photos of California Rep. Devin Nunes, left, and Seattle broadcast engineer Chase Nunes. (Twitter Photos)

When Chase Nunes joined Twitter way back near the beginning of the social media site, in August 2008, he secured the profile name @Nunes. A year after that, California Rep. Devin Nunes signed up, and went with the @DevinNunes handle.

Eight years later, the congressman is featuring heavily in news related to President Trump and potential ties to Russia. Chase Nunes (pronounced new-nez) is a news man himself, as a broadcast engineer for KOMO4 TV in Seattle. And this month he’s seen an interesting uptick in his Twitter mentions.

“Starting roughly two weeks ago, I started getting extra chatter and mentions on my personal Twitter account,” Chase said in an email to GeekWire. “Now usually, I love mentions, both good and bad. I love engaging in social media and socializing on the internet, even creating loads of content, so when I get feedback, I usually respond.”

Indeed, Chase has been quite active over the years, tweeting more than 17,000 times and attracting 5,870 followers. It doesn’t hurt that he founded and runs the 12-year-old GeekGamer.TV, a site dedicated to the ins and outs of technology and gaming.

But his new mentions weren’t about gaming or anything else. They were misdirected tweets meant for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who among other things, said recently that “Trump or members of his transition team might have been ‘incidentally’ caught up in legal surveillance of foreign operatives by American spy agencies,” according to The New York Times. Nunes also refused to recuse himself from his panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Tweets aimed at @Nunes told him to do everything from “stay strong” to “f*ck off,” essentially.

Chase, who is from roughly the same area of California represented by the congressman, said that he honestly thinks they might be second cousins, but he can’t confirm it. Rather than ignore Twitter until things blew over, Chase dove in.

“I decided to try and fight back the mentions by answering sarcastically, to each and every one,” Chase said. “Now I’m getting so many I’m not sure how to keep up anymore! I know right now that politics and Trump are very polarizing and people are frustrated and are just trying to vent. However, it’s so much, that I feel it was time for some comic relief and to have some fun with it and maybe get a little attention for the content I create with GeekGamer.”

Because nothing could possibly be uglier than the mix of politics and Twitter, Chase said that the majority of mentions are really negative. But his replies manage to spark a rare reaction from those who populate the social site.

“When I reply and they see that I’m not the ‘true’ Nunes, they apologize and sometimes delete the tweet,” Chase said. “The ones that support me are a nice break and I respond to them, too. I actually respond to most if not all of the mentions at this point.”

For his part, Rep. Nunes, a congressman since 2003, likes to tweet clips of interviews he’s done on television or radio to his 27,000 followers. He retweets @RealDonaldTrump from time to time; makes mention of items of interest for his California district; and sprinkles the hashtag #FakeNews around.

Chase said people are starting to take notice of his mentions and replies. New followers are waiting to see what he’ll write next and some still don’t believe the Seattle broadcast engineer is not the California congressman.

“I got one comment recently that I should move back to California and run for congress in his district,” Chase said. “I started the hashtag #NunesVsNunes.”

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