Florida congressional candidate says it’s time to “pick a side” in coming civil war
Darren Aquino from new ad, "Pick A Side."

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 5.18.28 PM
Aquino considers Black Lives Matter, antifa anarchists attacking civilization.

A Naples Republican running for Congress says it’s time to “pick a side” in the coming civil war.

Darren Aquino starts his newest ad with images of a Black Lives Matter protest turning violent. By the end of the ad, he’s holding a gun and explaining it’s time to prepare for war.

“Violent mobs. Antifa. Black Lives Matter,” Aquino says. “We are heading toward a civil war. Oh yeah.”

Clutching a long gun draped in an American flag and called “Old Glory,” Aquino said the country today faces violent conflict intended to undermine President Donald Trump.

“For years they have been trying to take away our Second Amendment right because right now, we are headed towards a civil war,” he says. “It’s time to pick a side and push back the mob.”

It’s the latest provocative spot from the New York City mayoral candidate-turned Southwest Florida political hopeful. He is one of nine Republicans running in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

In the past, he has attacked other candidates, calling Casey Askar an “unnatural” citizen because he was born in Iraq and demanding Cindy Banyai be fired from Florida Gulf Coast University for being a “communist sympathizer.”

A Change.org petition launched last week called him a racist fascist and demanded he drop out.

But Aquino, also the founder of the Advocates for Disabled Americans, Veterans, Police, Fireman & Families, has maintained he’s the candidate fighting for common sense values.

Watching protests that followed the George Floyd death in Minneapolis turn violent distressed Aquino, who said he faced racist taunts as a half Puerto Rican child growing up in New York.

“As a street kid, I saw gangs growing up,” he said. “I was around for the Black Panthers, but that was a different move. Even they weren’t as violent as this crime.

“Black Lives Matter, this is a group of haters, This is not a group against racism. It’s a group against the ways of our country.”

He called recent riots “violent anarchistic violence against Americans and America.”

Aquino, who will hold an event this weekend at the Iwo Jima memorial in Cape Coral, said he is also concerned for statues like that as mobs topple others.

While there have been no attacks on the World War II memorial, a more controversial monument in Lee County that normally sits in downtown Fort Myers, a bust of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, was taken down so it wasn’t vandalized during recent demonstrations.

Aquino, who like Trump hails from New York but now finds himself defending Confederate statues, said monuments should remain in place. Notably, the Confederates engaged in the Civil War.

But Aquino said attempts to take down the monuments now should be seen as an attack on civilization.

“To rip it down is to try and attempt to create fear in people,” Aquino said. “That’s anarchists.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Alex

    July 1, 2020 at 8:12 pm


    • Che Guevara

      July 2, 2020 at 4:02 am

      Why give this racist so much ink? Are you guys racists?

  • Jamie

    July 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    This publication is shite. Darren is what our county NEEDS and you’re a leftist hack agenda pusher. We are indeed headed to civil war if socialists continue their attempt to destroy America. THIS is a MUST see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1ii7E6R6lA

  • BlueHeron

    July 1, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Funny how his tweet reflects a picture of his lily white ass flanked by two black soldiers.
    He’s totally woke, I guess. Not a bigot or racist. At all. Just threatened by the “boogeyman”. Antifa = anti-fascist. Wouldn’t that be you as well? Nothing to fear from them. They are disorganized and have no leader and are small in #’s. They are not lurking around every corner. Now, despite their ridiculous name, the Boogaloo Boys are far more dangerous to all citizens. They are against all Americans and their main goal is to incite civil war. They have been arrested all over the country because of their hard core tactics with one actually killing a Federal agent trying to keep control of things.

    Clutch your guns all you want. While there are various groups asking for change, there is NOT one elected leader in Washington and here in Florida who is trying to kill the 2nd amendment and there will be NO CONFISCATION of guns unless someone decides to lose their own gun/s as a result of crimes committed by said gun owner.

    The NRA has literally called the shots for decades here in Florida and continues to do so.

    Y’all need to take a breath. You are safe with the 2nd amendment.

  • John Morse

    July 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    He is a true patriot. What other Republicans are standing up to the mob?????

  • Jim Donelon

    July 1, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Just another CRAZY Trumper following the lead of the IDIOT in the White House.

    As FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”.

  • Frank Rizzo

    July 2, 2020 at 4:47 am

    Someone should let Darren Aquino know that if a civil war were to happen, his side would be annihilated, wiped off the face of the earth.

    Darren Aquino is republican fascist filth and he, Crooked Trump, and all other republicans need to be locked up in prison for 20 years where they belong. Then afterwards be deported to Russia or China or North Korea, their choice, where they’ll be welcomed.

    Republicans are the disease. The Democratic cure is coming on November 3, 2020.

  • Harry Ball

    July 2, 2020 at 6:48 am

    Antifa is a bunch of goof ball nerds who hide behind guns , the Democrats have ruined this country handing it over to China and turning there backs on God.

  • Allen Eugene Graham

    July 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    This Texan believes you and deplores the leftist attempting to hijack our country. Long Live KING TRUMP.

    • Frodo Baggins

      July 2, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      The only people trying to destroy this country are those who are dividing us. Putin, Trump, Aquino, Laura ingraham and anyone who says someone’s coming for our guns. No one is attempting to disarm law abiding Americans. If they’re telling you that then they have a personal agenda to DIVIDE. Americans can take on any challenge, together. Forces are hard at work trying to undermineus, which is obvious in comments here and all over the political arena. If you allow yourself to be divided from your fellow Americans, they succeed.

      Donald Trump has zero guiding philosophies. He found an effective vehicle to personal power was the politics of division and once he recognised that there’s been no looking back. He seeks to divide us only for his personal gain. He’s the most corrupt president in history, with the most corrupt AG. He’s treated our allies who have served us well for decades as enemies while slobbing Putin’s knob. Putin’s killing our GIs? Invite him back into the G7. Putin wins a fake election? Call and congratulate him. Erdogan wants us to withdraw so he can kill our allies against al queda? Leave the field so they can be slaughtered and Putin can extend his influence in Syria. Merkel won’t come to your G7+ Putin in the middle of a pandemic? Move our troops from Germany to Poland. After all, were all just pawns in trumps checkers game. The only persons approval he craves is Putin.

Comments are closed.


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