Lauren Witzke, the Republican-backed Senate candidate running in Delaware, recently praised the neo-fascist Proud Boys for providing “free security” for her and her supporters at a rally. Witzke’s support for the group is the latest instance of her promoting and endorsing far-right extremism.
The Proud Boys, founded by right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes, is a far-right street gang that’s engaged in numerous acts of political violence across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center has stated that “rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists” and also push “anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”
In the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump supercharged the Proud Boys by telling them to “stand back and stand by.” The group has been celebrated by toxic commentators like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Roger Stone.
Witzke, who is running a longshot campaign against incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, tweeted her support of the Proud Boys on September 30:
The Delaware Republican Party and chair Jane Brady did not respond to a request for comment about Witzke’s support for the Proud Boys and whether the Delaware GOP has a position on the group. The party has been supporting Witzke despite her interactions with extremism. For instance:
- Witzke is a supporter of QAnon, the violence-linked conspiracy theory that started on message boards and has been labeled a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI.
- Witzke has frequently promoted VDare, a white nationalist website that also pushes anti-Semitism. She recently twice thanked VDare founder and editor Peter Brimelow -- who is also a white nationalist -- for, according to him, donating the maximum allowed amount to her campaign.
- Witzke has twice thanked white supremacist and anti-Semitic commentator Faith Goldy for supporting her campiagn.
- Witzke has thanked anti-Semitic commentator Nick Fuentes for supporting her campaign.
- Witzke’s former campaign manager promoted anti-Semitism on his podcast.
In a September 18 interview with Delaware Public Media, the Delaware GOP’s Jane Brady said that Witzke has “shown great energy, she's very bright, and she's worked very hard. And she's earned the support of the party."