Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right self-labeled “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys, says he’s raised less than $5,000 since entering the race for Florida’s 27th Congressional District in November.
That total was so low, Tarrio was not even required to submit a fundraising report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The Tarrio campaign confirmed that reality in a document submitted to the FEC.
“This Committee has not yet exceeded the $5,000 reporting threshold that would trigger the Committee’s reporting responsibilities under the Act.”
Tarrio is running as a Republican. He’s competing against former broadcaster Maria Elvira Salazar for the GOP nomination.
Federal candidates faced a Jan. 31 deadline to report all financial activity through the end of 2019. But because Tarrio’s campaign has been so inactive on the fundraising front, he dodged that requirement, making it unclear how much (or little) money he’s actually raised for his campaign.
In a statement to the Miami New Times, Tarrio said he hasn’t begun actively raising money and has netted “$2,500 to $2,900” in total since declaring his candidacy in November.
That’s an embarrassingly paltry sum compared to his opponents in the contest. During the most recent quarter, Salazar added nearly $365,000. In the prior quarter, Salazar brought in $454,000 in outside money and added a $50,000 loan to her campaign.
Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala, who won CD 27 in 2018, collected $600,000 in the fourth quarter.
It’s not clear whether Tarrio intends to mount a serious campaign or simply use his congressional bid as a promotional tool.
Either way, winning a House seat is an uphill climb for the controversial figure. Proud Boys members have been involved in several acts of public violence, including a 2018 incident in New York City where members were seen assaulting protesters following a speech by the group’s then-leader, Gavin McInnes.
Tarrio has said the men acted in self-defense. But two Proud Boys members were sentenced to four-year prison terms for the attack. 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.