Advance Notice: Briefs

GOP LG nominee Hernandez tweets and deletes photo with anti-government militia flag

By: - September 6, 2022 9:59 am

Rep. Shane Hernandex deleted Twitter photo | Screenshot

The GOP nominee for Michigan lieutenant governor is fielding an unforced error after posting and then deleting a photo of himself that included the flag of an anti-government militia group.

Shane Hernandez tweeted the photo Saturday of his visit to a Port Austin farmers market in which he is seen standing next to a man while the flag of the Three Percenters movement is displayed behind them.

Republican nominee for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon campaigns in Lansing on Aug. 27, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

The former state lawmaker, who is running as Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon’s running mate, later deleted the photo and then tweeted a disclaimer that the picture was purposeful.

“Regarding my last post, I bought 8oz of honey from a small business owner, and he wanted to take a picture with me at his booth,” stated Hernandez. “When I posted the picture, I did not notice the flag in the background. I disavow any such sentiments.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center says the Three Percenters “is at its core a vanguard extremist movement that claims to be ready to carry out armed resistance to perceived tyranny. Their perceptions of tyranny emanate from the radical conspiracy theories and paranoia rooted in the decades-old anti-government extremist movement, and have repeatedly led to violence against America’s law enforcement, citizens and residents.”

Federal prosecutors have charged several Three Percenters members with conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack, saying they combined with other right-wing groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys to try and halt Congress’s confirmation of the 2020 presidential election results showing President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump.

The group has also been connected to suspects charged in the plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is facing off against Dixon on Nov. 8.

After Hernandez’s tweet disavowing the photo, the Michigan Democratic Party issued a statement disputing the notion that the photo was an accident.

“As Michiganders spend their holiday weekend celebrating the freedoms earned by American workers, Shane Hernandez proudly stood by the anti-government, extremist Three Percenters flag,” read the statement. “His shameful support for the anti-American militia fits right in with Tudor Dixon’s dangerous, wrong-for-Michigan agenda to slash funding for law enforcement and undermine democracy.”

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.

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