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Elected GOP figure in Santa Clara County called out for posting 'Citizens take arms' on Facebook

Elected GOP figure in Santa Clara County called out for posting 'Citizens take arms' on Facebook
Phil Reynold's Campaign Photo on Facebook
By Shaun Borland - Published on January 12, 2021.

Phil Reynolds, an elected member of the Santa Clara County Republican Central Committee, is under pressure from Democratic leaders in Santa Clara to resign after posting "The war has begun!" on Facebook while the pro-Trump rioters were breaking into the Capitol Building in Washinton, D.C. last week. Democratic Assembly Member Evan Low and Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg called for Reynolds called out Reynolds for his comments.

Low brought Reynolds' posts to the attention of news agencies and the Santa Clara County Republican Party by posting a screenshot of Reynolds' Facebook post to Twitter. "Will you denounce the violence one of your members incited, @svgop? This is an elected #Republican official here in Santa Clara County calling for civil war. Resign now. Enough! #Accountability," Low tweeted.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Low and Reynolds both worked for the government in Campbell and didn't have any ill will towards one another. Reynolds even told the Chronicle that he would open to having a conversation with Low over lunch despite knowing Low has called for his resignation. 

"The war has begun! Citizens take arms! FREEDOM SHALL PREVAIL!!! WE MUST DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION TO THE DEATH!," Reynolds posted during the riots on Jan. 6.  

Low tells ABC 7 that he felt he needed to call out Reynolds for providing support for the riots and siege on the Capitol. "I could not believe this was coming from an elected official in Santa Clara County, that's why when we see something we need to say something," he said. 

Reynolds was not shy about defending his posts and responded to multiple news organizations that reached out to him for comment. 

"My blood boils when I hear anything anti-American," he told the San Jose Spotlight. "I'm not a violent person and I don't ever want to incite violence… I'm not taking it back. I spoke my piece at the time."

Low wasn't the only official in Santa Clara County to ask for Reynolds' resignation. Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg took to Twitter to echo Low's call. "I fervently denounce this sentiment & am dismayed to see it expressed by an elected official in our County, our district. I call on the @svgop to hold to account this incitement of violence & demand his resignation. There's no place for this clarion call in our comm'ty or country," she tweeted. 

As the Mercury News reports, Reynolds ran for California's 18th Congressional District but did not make it past the primary. "I fully support President Trump and his agenda," he says in the bio section of the campaign's Facebook page. "I oppose my opponents' socialist agenda. I am the only Pro Life conservative candidate in this race."

The Santa Clara County Republican Party did not comment on Reynolds' posts but issued multiple tweets condemning the violence in Washington, DC. 

"We condemn the angry mob that stormed the Capitol, and condemn the rioters and those who attack police officers. Those who do not use peaceful means in our representative republic should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the party tweeted. 

In response to Ellenberg and Low's comments, Reynolds told the San Jose Spotlight he is calling for them to resign. He cited they should be focusing on the current issues of education and homelessness plaguing the state.

Reynolds defended himself on Facebook on Jan. 11. He defended his right to free speech and claimed that the media misused his words. "While exercising my first amendment rights, I spoke out loudly and boldly in support of protecting our Capitol, the people in it, our nation and our Constitution," he said in his post. "What happened at our Capitol was wrong in every direction and those partaking in those violent actions should face maximum penalties according to our laws."