California gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot
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California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is facing a local investigation into his decision to campaign with a 1,000-pound bear in San Diego.

The San Diego Humane Society confirmed to The Hill Friday that its law enforcement division is “investigating the use of a Kodiak bear on the campaign trail.”

The group says Cox violated a city law that prohibits anyone besides zoos from bringing wild animals into the area.


Cox’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill, but told local media outlets that it had the approval of “several government agencies” to campaign with the bear, whose name is Tag.

"Every care was taken to ensure Tag’s comfort and safety with the approval of several government agencies. California needs beastly change and that may ruffle some feathers of left-wing activists," campaign press secretary Anthony Ramirez said in a statement to NBC7

The campaign is renting the bear from Working Wildlife in Frazier Park, which loans out wild animals for entertainment purposes.

Cox is one of several Republicans running in a recall election against California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCaitlyn Jenner wants to use funds for bullet train project to build rest of Trump border wall Feds agree to restore B to California for bullet train California appeals ruling overturning state's assault weapons ban MORE (D). Other Republicans in the field include reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin FaulconerKevin FaulconerCalifornia recall to cost taxpayers 5 million California state workers union donating M to help Newsom fight recall Netflix CEO donates M to Newsom to fight recall MORE and former Rep. Doug Ose.

Recall supporters have already submitted enough signatures to trigger an election, but surveys suggest Newsom is in a strong position to keep his seat. 

poll released Tuesday found that 49 percent of voters oppose recalling Newsom, while 36 percent support his ouster.