Augustus Sol Invictus, an alt-right figurehead who got a taste of the national spotlight in the time surrounding the violent right-wing gathering in Charlottesville two years ago, is said to have registered to vote in California, where an ally who is a party delegate in the state GOP claims to have appointed Invictus as an associate delegate to the California Republican Party. Under state party rules, any full delegate may appoint an associate delegate, who would serve as an alternate should the full delegate be unable to fulfill their function on the convention floor. While Invictus’ position would be minor, his appointment by Macias would follow a long-standing strategy that extremists have used to infiltrate and quietly influence Republican politics. (For instance, last year, Cecily Wright was forced to resign as Spokane County GOP Chair in Washington after Right Wing Watch reported on her defense of an alt-right precinct committee officer at a party gathering.)
Invictus (who legally changed his name from Austin Mitchell Gillespie) appears to have been appointed, or to be in the process of being appointed, to the position of associate delegate by Anthony Macias, a current California Republican Party delegate for Santa Clara County. On February 23, Macias posted a photo on Facebook of a badge from the party’s Spring 2019 organizing convention bearing his name, the California Republican Party logo and the word “DELEGATE” in big, block letters. The Santa Clara County Republican Party did not return Right Wing Watch’s request for contact via phone.
“As expressed in our manifesto, My Right Honourable and Most Noble Friend, Augustus Sol Invitcus, and I are running to lead a government that works for everyone, and for every part of California,” Macias wrote on Facebook, where he provides “FashyHaircut” as his listed nickname. He did not link to the “manifesto” he mentioned, and Right Wing Watch has not seen the document. Yet even as he lauds Invictus, whose anti-Semitic and white supremacist views are no secret, Macias reports that he is writing the post from a memorial service for Stephon Clark, an unarmed man who was shot in the back by police in his grandmother’s Sacramento backyard, promising to “tackle the burning injustice” that blacks and Latinos are “treated more harshly by the criminal justice system.”
Invictus last made a national splash in 2016, when he pursued a U.S. Senate seat nomination in the Florida Libertarian Party primary. As he ran for that position, it came to light that he had once sacrificed a goat and drank its blood as part of a pagan ritual. For a time, Invictus was a staple at extremist rallies in the United States, and was a leading organizer of the Unite the Right white supremacist gathering in 2017, which brought violence and murder to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Invictus’ worldview as “identitarian” and “hierarchical” and reports that he has argued in favor of eugenics, kept close affiliations with neo-Nazis, and fantasized about “war, violence and bloodshed.”
He still holds those views. In a YouTube video he uploaded earlier this year, Invictus praised “Seige”—a hyper-violent book of writings by a one-time member of the American Nazi Party that ProPublica described as celebratory of “murder and chaos in the name of white supremacy”—calling it “an incredible book.”
The site “Fakertarians” first alerted us to Macias’ Facebook posts in which he claimed that he had sent documents to the state GOP to appoint Invictus to an associate delegate position. The California Republican Party forwarded Right Wing Watch’s call to a voicemail inbox and our call was not returned. Macias claims to be pursuing a spot on the California Republican Party Platform Committee. If successful in this pursuit, Invictus, as his associate delegate, would become his alternate—meaning that Invictus would be able to substitute for Macias when votes are called. Positions on platform committees are coveted by right-wing activists, who hope gaining representation on platform committees will help them shape the party’s stated values toward their own agendas.
In 2016, Macias ran as a Republican for a seat in California State Senate representing District 15. He was defeated and received just three percent of the vote. He says he currently pursuing a position in the California State Assembly, in addition to the position on the California Republican Party Platform Committee.
On Facebook, Macias has used his profile to provide a running commentary on white nationalist movement goings-on. Macias called Identity Evropa leader Patrick Casey a “cuck for shutting down IE,” referring to Casey’s decision to fold Identity Evropa and rebrand his efforts under the name “American Identity Movement.” He has said that white nationalist Nathan Damigo, who founded Identity Evropa and is facing lawsuits for violence that occurred during Unite the Right, was his friend. Of violence at Unite the Right, Macias has alternated between mocking it and defending it.
On February 18, Macias shared a photo making light of the car attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured 28 others who were protesting Unite the Right on August 11, 2017. On January 30 of this year, Macias said the prosecution of the members of the neo-Nazi group Rise Above Movement for inciting a riot at Unite the Right was “baseless political prosecution.” On Facebook, he lists himself as an employee of the American Legal Defense Fund, a group affiliated with Invictus that is seeking financial support for the indicted group members.
The phone number that Invictus currently provides for those requesting his legal services has a Los Angeles County area code.