Republican Uvalde candidate seen in resurfaced video calling Nazi rifle ‘original ghetto blaster’

YouTuber Brandon Herrera appeared in a video calling a German World War II-era submachine gun the “original ghetto blaster”.

The 28-year-old is running as a Republican against the only member of the Texas GOP House delegation to vote for the bipartisan gun safety legislation which passed after the Uvalde school shooting – Rep Tony Gonzales. Uvalde is part of the district represented by Mr Gonzales.

In 2022, 19 children anf two staff members were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Mr Herrera is known on YouTube, where he has millions of subscribers, as “the AK guy” – he’s now in a runoff race against Mr Gonzales set for 28 May. After winning his 2022 primary with 78 per cent of the vote, Mr Gonzales failed to get a majority in the 5 March primary, netting 45 per cent.

Mr Gonzales was censured by the Texas Republican Party last year for positions considered too moderate. Other primary challengers are now backing Mr Herrera to oust him.

In the 2022 video on the MP-40, the song Erika, used by the Nazis as a marching tune, was played during a montage skit, in which Mr Herrera can be seen stopping a friend from doing a Hitler salute, pointing to the camera.

Pre-empting criticism, Mr Herrera says in the video: “If you’re one of the few people out there that realize there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the song we just used, and it’s just a bunch of soldiers singing about a pretty girl they miss at home, go ahead and hit the subscribe button.”

Mr Herrera began the video by saying, “Today we are out here on the range with an iconic historic submachine gun, a gun that as the kids say is a whole a** vibe. This if you can't tell is the MP-40 – The original ghetto blaster. If the MG-42 was Hitler's buzzsaw, the MP-40 was Hitler's street sweeper – you probably recognize it from pretty much any World War II game you've ever played or World War II movie you've ever watched.”

Mr Gonzales has repeatedly attacked Mr Herrera for being insufficiently conservative, writing on X: “Brandon Herrera has abandoned the pro-life movement at a time when it’s under attack. Herrera peddles liberals’ talking points on the issue and openly admitted he wouldn’t lift a finger to stop states like California from performing late-term and partial-birth abortions.”

Sharing a video of Mr Herrera on the platform, Mr Gonzales wrote: “Brandon Herrera is not America First. Here he is in his own words saying Donald Trump will lose to Joe Biden in 2024.”

Mr Herrera has said that it was Mr Gonzales’s vote in support of gun safety that motivated him to run against the incumbent.

“If you vote against our interests, if you vote against gun rights, if you vote against the Constitution,” he told gun rights activists in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month, according to The Texas Tribune. “We will challenge you, we will primary you and we will win. We will take your fucking job.”

Mr Herrera also has in the past referred to the US Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression,” Jewish Insider noted.

Towards the end of his 2022 video, Mr Herrea says, “Now what I'm about to say might be a bit of a controversial opinion but bear with me. I'm not really a big fan of fascism – commies cool your jets”.

“But when it comes down to just legendary pieces of firearm history like this, I feel privileged to be able to own it to make sure weapons like this are restored to their more or less original condition and preserved for future generations to learn from it,” he adds.

“Because the best way to not repeat history is to learn about history. And the best way that I know to get you guys to learn about history is to make really f***** up jokes about it,” he tells his viewers.

The Independent has reached out to the Herrera campaign for comment.