California governor candidate is campaigning alongside a 100lb bear

Remember when David Cameron hugged huskies to highlight the impact of climate change (somehow)?

Well, a California governor candidate is campaigning with an animal with a slightly different message.

Republican John Cox is schlepping about California with a bear, to portray himself as a “beast” to his rival Gavin Newsom’s “beauty”.

As part of his Meet the Beast Bus Tour, Cox presented the bear on Sacramento in Tuesday and called Newsom – the incumbent governor – a “pretty boy politician”, which clearly is a problem. The bear, which is also pictured on the side of his campaign bus, is also a homage to the California flag, apparently.

Cox is a businessman and no stranger to politics. In 2008, he briefly put himself forward as a Republican presidential candidate and, in the last governor election in 2018, he lost by 24 points.

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But of course, in those elections he didn’t have a bear. And a macaw. In a campaign ad titled “Meet the BEAST”, a macaw repeatedly mocks Newsom as a “pretty boy” as it wolf-whistles.

As well as what’s shaping up to be a veritable Noah’s Ark of running mates, Cox has fierce competition from others standing – including the popular incumbent and Caitlyn Jenner. Kanye West and Dwayne “the rock” Johnson have also expressed interest in the role.

And in case you were worried about animal welfare, speaking at a press conference Cox said: “We made sure that everything about this bear is taken care of in the utmost.”


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