Maryland gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox is denying any connection to the far-right group Proud Boys after a video surfaced of him accepting a gift from a member of the organization.
At an event this summer, the Republican mingled with voters when he was approached by Henry, a Maryland Proud Boy member wearing a black polo shirt emblazoned with the group’s logo.
With the guard at his side, Cox shook Henry’s hand and accepted the black comb.
“Here’s a gift from the Maryland Proud Boys,” Henry said in the video, which was originally on Cox’s Vimeo account but was later removed and reposted by the Washington Post.
The hopeful governor looked at the crest in confusion before asking the man’s name and putting on his best politician smile.
“Nice to meet you,” Cox said before moving on to the next guest who was waiting to introduce himself.
The Republican has since denied any connection to the group, telling the Post he “didn’t even hold a comb.”
Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Dan Cox accepted a gift of a comb from the far-right group Maryland Proud Boy at an event in August (pictured: Cox at the same event)
He denies being part of the group and says he “didn’t even keep a comb.” He said in a statement: “I’ve never seen him before and I haven’t seen him since. I am not related to anyone involved in the January 6th violence, period
“It was hard to hear what was being said over the noise of the victory celebrations,” he said in a statement to the Post. “I was surprised that he handed me something.
“I never saw him before and I haven’t seen him since. I am not associated with anyone involved in the violence of January 6, period.”
After winning the primary in July, the father of 10 began to distance himself from extremists in his party. He deleted his account on Gab, a social media platform known for its white nationalist and hate speech, the Post reported.
He has not spoken publicly about his decision to delete the account.
He even publicly distanced himself from Trump, although the former president did host an event for him at his Mar-A-Lago mansion, with tickets costing an ironic $1,776 and a photo with them costing $25,000, the Post reported. .
Cox also distanced himself from Trump’s Make America Great Again movement and tried to distance himself from being known for his involvement in the Jan. 6 riots, where he reportedly organized buses to the rally and called Mike Pence a “traitor,” according to the Marylander. Affairs.
Although he said he thought the election was “stolen” and attended the Stop Theft rally with seven of his children. He insisted that he had left before the riots began.
The Proud Boys were also present during the rebellion and have been in the hot seat during recent years when the trials of the rebels took place.
Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario and four lieutenants have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
These are the most serious allegations leveled against Tario and the right-wing group to date.
Torrio was not involved in the January 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol, but is believed to have organized the action from within the fringe group’s “command and control” structure.
Police arrested Torrio in Washington two days before the riots and charged him with defacing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a protest in December 2020.
He was ordered to leave D.C., but instead went to an underground parking garage, where he met with a documentary film crew, other Proud Boys and Elmer Stewart Road III, founder of Oath Keepers, another far-right group involved in the riots. .
Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tario and four lieutenants have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Local branches are reportedly “aggressively” recruiting since the riot
The father of 10 did attend the Stop Theft rally with seven of his 10 children, but said he left before the riots began. Since then, he began to distance himself from the extremists in his political party
In August, Tario pleaded guilty to two counts of burning a BLM flag and was sentenced to five months.
Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, said local Proud Boys chapters have been “working aggressively” since January 6.
“It’s disturbing to see Proud Boys showing up at legitimate political events. They shouldn’t be,” she told the Post.
“This is a white supremacist group, a misogynist group. The number of proud boys involved in violence is by the mile. The group is so dangerous that Canada and New Zealand have banned it as a terrorist organization.”
A spokesman for Cox’s opponent, Wes Moore, told the Post that the spat “shows what we’ve known all along: Cox is a dangerous extremist who does not belong as governor.”
Early voting begins Tuesday in Maryland.