California Gubernatorial Candidate Criticized for Including Bear in Campaign Event

A California gubernatorial candidate has drawn criticism for including a bear in a campaign event in Sacramento on May 4.

This livestreamed footage shows Republican John Cox speaking with the huge brown bear behind him. According to Cox’s Facebook page, the bear weighed 1,000 pounds.

Some commenters on the video criticized Cox’s decision to include the animal. One wrote, “This is animal abuse! Campaign if you want but leave the bear out of it.” Another wrote, “Animal abuse is NOT a good look. If you have something relevant to say @BeastJohnCox, I’ve already stopped listening.”

PETA called the use of the bear “shameful”.

The event was part of the six-city #MeetTheBeast bus tour by Cox, who has styled himself “the Beast” in contrast to incumbent Gov Gavin Newsom, whom he has called a “pretty boy” and “Beauty” in campaign material. Credit: John Cox via Storyful