California Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Cox faces a lawsuit for bringing a 1,000-pound Kodiak bear on the campaign trail. Cox has been campaigning on promises of “Big Beastly Changes to Save California.”
“Leading the Charge to Recall failed Pretty Boy Politician Gavin Newsom,” Cox’s Twitter bio says.
California’s choice: Beauty or the Beast?
— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) May 5, 2021
According to Cox, he’s been “roaring through California gaining BEASTLY momentum” as Newsom’s “top challenger.”
— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) May 25, 2021
As part of his tour, Cox rides a bear-themed bus, and routinely makes comments casting himself as “Beast” to Newsom’s “Beauty.”
One beast-themed antic, however, allegedly went too far. Cox brought a 1,000-pound Kodiak bear named Tag on a campaign stop in Shelter Island on May 11, then to San Diego the following week. Animal rights group Animal Protection and Rescue League, Inc. (“APRL”) filed a lawsuit against Cox and unnamed others earlier this week, claiming that they illegally held events “with a captive, 1000-pound bear who has been drugged and abused for this purpose.”
John Cox was asked about the bear several times during his campaign stop at Shelter Island and admitted it was done to get attention. https://t.co/h1assigr3y
— NBC 7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) May 12, 2021
Specifically, the lawsuit cites a San Diego Municipal Code provision which prohibits individuals from bringing “any lion, tiger, bear” into the jurisdiction, “irrespective of their actual or asserted state of docility, tameness or domesticity.”
The plaintiff group requests a court order declaring that “bringing or maintaining a captive bear in the City of San Diego violates San Diego Municipal Code § 44.0305 and constitutes a public nuisance under Civil Code § 3479.” The plaintiff also seeks “reasonable” attorneys’ fees.
Cox has run against Newsom in the past; in 2018, Newsom won by almost 3 million votes.
The San Diego Humane Society is reportedly also investigating Cox’s use of a bear at his events.
John Cox did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
[screengrab via ABC7]
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