by Sam Spence, Charleston City Paper—Monday, July 8th 2019
The Mt. Pleasant-based founder of Bikers for Trump who made a name for himself after cutting the grass on the National Mall during a government shutdown, announced Monday that he will run for the GOP nomination for Congress to challenge 1st District U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham.
In 2018, voters in the district elected Cunningham over Republican Katie Arrington, who also aligned herself closely with President Donald Trump. Nationally, Democrats fared well in last year’s Midterm congressional elections, winning enough House seats to earn control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The 1st District includes parts of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.
Cox, a local chainsaw artist, first gained national notoriety after he was spotted cutting the grass outside the Lincoln Memorial in 2013 during a government shutdown.
Cox parlayed that “folk hero” image into forming Bikers for Trump in 2015. Over the course of the 2016 race, the group coordinated activities across the country and has over 320,000 Facebook followers today. Since the election, Cox and the group have continued to defend the president and his allies, sometimes literally.
“In the event that we are needed,” Cox told Fox and Friends in 2017 ahead of Trump’s inauguration, “we certainly will form a wall of meat.” Cox later told Fox Business that the group’s bikers “served many knuckle sandwiches.”
Last year, Cox’s group had an unfortunate scheduling snafu of planning a rally celebrating Trump’s first year in office on the same day as the Women’s March on Washington, which resulted in light crowds and light trolling.
Then in December, offering personal security from militant anti-fascists known as antifa, Cox showed up to a D.C. courthouse with his dog Trigger for the sentencing of Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor who admitted to lying to the FBI. (Members of antifa were not present.)
Announcing his campaign on Monday, Cox said in a statement. “This time, though, I’ll be taking out the trash in Congress and taking my chainsaw to the red tape still tangling up our small businesses on behalf of my neighbors, friends, and family back in the Lowcountry.”
Cox’s announcement comes a couple weeks after state Rep. Nancy Mace, who worked for Trump’s S.C. campaign, announced that she also wanted to challenge Cunningham. Three others, including Mt. Pleasant Councilwoman Kathy Landing, have also announced they will run.