A Republican candidate running for the congressional seat that would represent Parkland, Florida, has a history of violent arrests and wrote hateful attacks smearing the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting.
Republican candidate Javier Manjarres, who just declared his candidacy for the congressional seat that represents Parkland, Florida, has quite a sordid past, including arrests for gun violence. Manjarres, a conservative blogger, has also authored smears attacking the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High shooting.
Manjarres is running for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 22nd congressional district, which is currently held by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).
Since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, Deutch has allied himself closely with the survivors and has repeatedly called for an assault weapons ban, among other measures.
By contrast, Manjarres has joined his fellow conservatives in authoring several attacks on the teenagers.
As “managing editor” of the Shark Tank blog, which covers Florida politics from a right-wing perspective, Manjarres described student activist David Hogg and other participants in the March for Our Lives as “disrespectful extremists.”
He wrote that he personally confronted Hogg at an event that was honoring the life of one of the children that was killed and complained that Hogg “appears to hide behind his age.”
He described the March for Our Lives, which attracted hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters around America, as “shameful.”
Manjarres rhetoric on the shooting survivors echoes many on the right, including the NRA. He has support from America First Agenda, a Republican super PAC, and is in many ways representative of the skewed mindset that dominates the Trump-era Republican Party.
Manjarres alleged, without evidence, that extremists are “scripting these kids.” He accused teenager Emma Gonzalez of “promoting he Communist government” of Cuba because she wore a jacket with a Cuban flag, in line with attacks many other conservatives made.
In addition to his unseemly attacks and smears, Manjarres has a violent criminal history.
In 2016 he was arrested for the attempted murder of his sister’s boyfriend after shooting a gun at him. Manjarres allegedly assaulted a man, punching him in the face with his fist. The man reported that he heard three gunshots as he drove to escape the assault.
That isn’t his first criminal encounter with the law.
In 1995, Manjarres was arrested for burglary with assault. Police reports say he drove to the apartment of a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend, broke down his front door, and punched him.
Manjarres later pleaded guilty and served two years of probation.
The seat he is running for is in very heavy Democratic territory, and in a normal year it would be a tough campaign for a Republican. But with the unpopularity of Trump and the Republican Party, it is an extremely long shot.
Florida voters will have someone on the ballot who represents the hateful mindset of the right, coupled with a violent criminal past. They also have a golden opportunity to resoundingly reject the insanity and deplorable behavior.