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Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio will challenge Donna Shalala in CD 27

The Proud Boys group has garnered controversy for its involvement in acts of violence.

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right self-labeled “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys, submitted paperwork Friday to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Tarrio becomes the second Republican to compete for the seat, joining Maria Elvira Salazar. Tarrio was raised in Little Havana, giving him ties to South Florida ahead of his challenge to Shalala.

“Our founders were simple men who wanted a world away from tyranny and away from government interference into our lives. A place to raise their children, watch their families grow and build their businesses. A place to worship freely and speak freely,” Tarrio said in a statement announcing his run.

“Unfortunately, career politicians like Donna Shalala have become obsessed with moving America away from these founding principles and towards a Communist police state that thrives on robbing us of our God given freedoms. Shalala is more concerned about being Hillary Clinton’s puppet than serving the needs of District 27.”

The Proud Boys group has garnered controversy for its involvement in acts of violence.

The most high-profile example occurred in 2018 in New York City, when a group of Proud Boys members were seen assaulting protesters following a speech by the group’s then-leader, Gavin McInnes.

Late last month, two Proud Boys members were sentenced to four-year prison terms for the attack.

Tarrio has said the duo acted in self-defense and alleged political motivations were behind placing blame on the Proud Boys members.

“It’s clearly, if you look at the video, anybody who looks at the video, it’s clearly in self-defense,” Tarrio said in an interview with Heavy.com. “It was done right before mid-terms. We believe (we’re) like political pawns.”

But the group has also been involved in other violent altercations, such as with the far-left Antifa group, which itself has a history of violence. Both groups seem keen on pointing the finger at each other any time their interactions become bloody.

The Proud Boys have been accused of being “white nationalists” by some on the left, though the group has vehemently rejected the label—Tarrio is Cuban.

Still, he’ll likely be a lightning rod candidate during this race.

Salazar, meanwhile, has already run in the district once before. She lost out to Shalala in the 2018 contest but has been backed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) again this time around.

Salazar also managed to outraise Shalala last quarter. Shalala is also facing a primary rematch with Democratic candidate Michael Hepburn.

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Image via YouTube

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Todd Perry

    November 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Yep, Tarrio is correct about the video CLEARLY showing Antifa throwing an object at 4 Proud Boys. The Proud Boys were out numbered which us the only reason Antifa attacked them because they don’t have the guts for a fair fight. Luckily more Proud Boys leaving the event came around the corner to find their brothers under attack and came to their defense. Antifa ALWAYS target ANY Proud Boys when they are out numbered then these leftist cities protect and cover for the domestic terrorist group Antifa.

  2. Rook

    November 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Funny how the hundreds of videos showing Antifa violence are ignored and the media calls them “protesters”. One video showing a few Proud Boys responding to a group ANTIFA throwing a bottle of piss at them and the Proud Boys are labeled “violent”. The truly are living in a clown world. Honk, honk!

  3. MissScarletw/aRevolver

    November 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    “The Proud Boys have been accused of being “white nationalists” by some on the left, though the group has vehemently rejected the label—Tarrio is Cuban.”

    Correction- Tarrio is Afro-Cuban but that does not fit the author’s narrative that Tarrio is a white nationalist so he won’t report that truth.

  4. Randy Ireland

    November 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    It is amazing to me how psuedo-journalists within the Main-Stream Media go out of their way to selectively reveal facts and peddle their own bias as truth and factual. Of all the violence between the Proud Boys and AntiFA, 100% of the time there is ONLY one group that initiates it – AntiFA!!

    When you have a segment of society that terrorizes every day Americans, call then Racists, Bigots, and Nazis – then use Violence and Assult to deprive those very citizens of their Constitutional Rights – and that time and time again are defended and shielded from Justice by Leftist Power Holders….what is answer?

    If Law Enforcement cannot faithfully execute their jobs, and if the federal government cannot do their constitutionally-sworn duty (protect the Rights and Liberties of ALL Americans!)…then somebody MUST stand up and stand in the void and help protect each American’s fundamental Constitutional Right against domestic terrorists that seek to take those rights away by force and violence! THAT is who the Proud Boys are, and what they represent! Proud Boys do NOT start violent altercations, but they will not run from nor cower from them, either!

    It is time for journalists to rise up, seek out the facts, and report those facts without twisting and distorting the story they tell with their ignorant bias and activism! In doing so they become enablers and co-conspirators with the domestic terrorists themselves, and stand against the fundamental principles of America itself!

    All have the Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Assemble – and the moment violence is used to take away those God-Given Rights, then the line crosses from Freedom and Rights into Criminality, Infringement, and Terrorism! This is such a simple concept that I am utterly shocked how few people actually grasp it – ESPECIALLY this psuedo-journalist who penned this very article!

  5. NoMoreRepublicans!

    November 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    ‘Antifa’ versus ‘The Proud Boys’! Yowee! Let’s get it on!

    (Kinda funny seeing a brown boy leading a ‘white power’ charge! LOL!)

  6. Tom Cotton

    November 12, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Florida always seems to attract the lowest common denominator.

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