Confused Americans urge Scots councillor to exit governor race

A Scottish councillor is facing a barrage of criticism and calls to step down -- after being confused with a candidate in the race to be governor of California.

California Republican John Cox (left) and Aberdeeshire Councillor John Cox (right).
California Republican John Cox (left) and Aberdeeshire Councillor John Cox (right).

John Cox, who represents Banff and District, Aberdeenshire shares his name with a Republican businessman who is now running for office in the Golden State.

And his opponents have seemingly confused the pair, with one woman urging him to step down from the November’s gubernatorial election.

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On Monday evening, Banff’s Mr Cox had to take time out to question one US woman who reached out over Facebook.

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The US voter claimed that Mr Cox was being backed by investor George Soros, a billionaire with links to liberal political causes and a critic of Donald Trump.

However, Mr Cox assured her that he had no plans to take over the role, which was once filled by film star Arnold Schwarzenegger, any time soon.

In the message sent on social media, the voter said: “John, please drop out.

“We do not want you and you are hurting California with your (George) Soros backed campaign.

“Travis Allen is our best candidate.”

Mr Cox pointed out to her that he lives in Scotland, and he has since made light of the situation.

He said: “I appreciated at the time that Arnold Schwarzenegger had a hard act to follow after my stint as councillor.

“Obviously, I’m open to offers but right now my bags aren’t packed if they want me over in California - and I’m sure some people might enjoy seeing me over there.

“As they say, a day is a long time in politics and never say never.”

The Mr Cox she meant to contact is John Herman Cox, who dubs himself the “only true conservative running for California governor”.

A former radio host, his show created a website in 2003 which nominated prominent public figures including Jacques Chirac and Martin Sheen as “friends of Saddam”.

He aims to uphold the second amendment - the right to bear arms - and “unshackle the productive capacity” of the state.

The north-east’s John Cox has had a vastly different political career to his US counterpart.

Mr Cox entered the political arena in 1994 to represent Banff in the old Banff and District Council, and since then he has been re-elected at each time of asking.

Previously, he had worked at his family’s salmon company.

His US counterpart, meanwhile, is yet to taste political success.

A Republican businessman, John Herman Cox has founded law, investment and real estate firms in the country.

He was also the host of The Progressive Conservative, a twice-weekly radio show.

He ran for Congress in 2000, Senate in 2002 and attempted to become Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2004, but has yet to find the popular vote.

Mr H. Cox even tried to become US president in 2008, announcing his intention to run two years earlier.

He dropped out of the race before a Republican nominee was selected.