After Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, announced his 2020 run for Congress in Florida’s 27th District, he was immediately targeted by antifa.
Tarrio, who took over leadership of the Proud Boys in November 2018 after its founder, Gavin McInnes, was persuaded by lawyers to step aside, announced on Monday that he would be running for Congress, and would fight to be the Republican candidate for Florida’s 27th District in the 2020 election.
In a post to his Telegram channel, Tarrio said that he has seen “what the poison of socialism can do to our American cities” and that he has been a “boots on the ground street activist from day one” as the leader of the Proud Boys but notes that “unfortunately, social and political activism has its limits”:
The dry ink of a legislative act from the United States House or Senate holds the weight of the people and is much louder and powerful than a group of thousands taking to the streets. For much too long, many of those in Congress use that very ink to violate your God-given rights to bear arms and to speak, free of government consequences. That is why today, I am formally announcing that I will be running as a Republican in Florida’s 27th Congressional District against Hillary Clinton’s puppet, Donna Shalala… In the past two years, she has voted multiple times to give the government more power, taking what is rightfully yours and placing that power and money in the hands of a distant political elite that believes it knows what is better for you and your family than you do.
The Proud Boys chairman then listed some of the key issues he would prioritise if he were elected to Congress, which included immigration reform, defence of the 2nd Amendment, free speech across all digital platforms, and a simplification of the tax code. He exclusively told National File that he would stand up for the rights of ordinary Americans and stand with President Trump:
When I’m in Congress, I will be an America First representative and stand behind the president’s agenda. Americans, especially in Florida, understand that the failed socialist policies of Cuba must never come to America. I’ve been banned from every social media platform and this type of political censorship will stop when I am in Congress.
His primary opponent is set to be the former news anchor, Maria Elvira Salazar, who unsuccessfully ran for the seat in the 2018 midterms and lost to her Democratic opponent. Salazar has previously come under fire for a cordial interview she conducted with the communist dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, in the 1990s, where she referred to him as “comandante” and “un revolucionario por excelencia”.
The seat was previously Republican, so Tarrio may have a serious chance at becoming the first member of the Proud Boys in Congress, a fact that is annoying many on the left. Writing in Miami New Times, their news editor Jessica Lipscomb described Tarrio as a “local douchebag,” attacking him for being on good terms with conservative pundit Roger Stone, and for reporting illegal immigrants to the authorities.
Antifa accounts and linked pages are even more incensed with the Tarrio run for Congress, viewing the Proud Boys as apparent “white supremacists,” despite Tarrio’s Cuban and African ancestry.
One account on Twitter started attacking his fundraising platform, in an attempt to deplatform him:
The leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, who attended the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville alongside fascists like Richard Spencer and groups like Identity Evropa, is using @Piryx, which recently rebranded as @rally to raise money. https://t.co/YToSxbKmM8
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) November 3, 2019
The website “It’s Going Down,” said that the fact that Tarrio was running for Congress was “good news,” because “doxxing Proud Boys has never been easier,” as they would be able to scour FEC records and track down any of the donors to his campaign.
Tarrio told National File that he wasn’t surprised that he was being targeted. “The fact that Antifa would call for my campaign to be banned from fundraising shows exactly who these people are: violent bullies.”