Washington, D.C.—People For the American Way (PFAW) today called on Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis to denounce the violent Proud Boys hate group following reports that a DeSantis campaign official attended the group’s threatening protest on Oct. 17 targeting Democratic officials and candidates.
Last week, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reported that Nelson Diaz, the county chairman of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, was filmed alongside members of the violent Proud Boys hate group at a rowdy, threatening protest against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that Corey Breier—Ron DeSantis’ Miami-Dade County Jewish outreach chairman and vice chairman of Miami-Dade Republican Party—also attended. Law enforcement found the crowd to be so threatening that officers locked down the building.
“Ron DeSantis must condemn the Proud Boys’ threatening display that took place in Miami,” PFAW Political Director Lizet Ocampo said. “The presence of the Miami-Dade GOP’s chairman and vice chairman—who is also a DeSantis outreach chairman—raises questions as to whether Florida Republicans and the DeSantis campaign are joining forces with an explicitly pro-violence hate group. Given that DeSantis was happy to join Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at a right-wing conference in 2017, we need to know if DeSantis stands with the hyper-aggressive Proud Boys or with the people of Florida.”
The Proud Boys were the topic of national news after they attacked three people outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City on Oct. 12. They have a well-established history as a violent hate group. DeSantis attended a conference with the Proud Boys’ founder last year.
Right Wing Watch is a project of People For the American Way dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda. Our researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill that information for media, allies and the general public. Learn more: https://rightwingwatch.org.
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy. Learn more: https://www.pfaw.org.