A consultant firm that previously worked for Winsome Sears tried to recruit Proud Boys for a post-election rally last year in Nevada

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A Nevada-based consultant firm that previously worked for Virginia’s Republican lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears was involved in an effort trying to recruit members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, neo-fascist group, to participate in a Nevada rally contesting the 2020 presidential election results.

McShane LLC was paid more than $90,000 by Sears’ lieutenant governor campaign between January and May of this year. A high-ranking member of the firm was also directly involved in seeking out Proud Boys to protest the 2020 election results.

A spokesperson for Sears’ campaign says the consultant firm was terminated in May when they were made aware of the firm’s actions.

The Nevada Current originally reported that the vice president of McShane LLC sent messages to a party operative on Nov. 4 encouraging her to invite the Proud Boys to a rally.

“Sarah what are you doing tomorrow? Might need use of your fairy dust,” wrote Woodrow Johnston, a VP at McShane LLC, at 10:17 p.m.

Sarah Cirillo, a Nevada Republican operative at the time, responded three minutes later: “For you… Free.”

Cirillo then sent another message one minute later to Johnston saying “Anything. Just tell [me].”

“Not sure yet, don’t pull the trigger. But Gosar is leading the charge on a ‘Brooks Brothers Riot’ down in AZ,” Johnston responded at 10:23 p.m. One minute later, Johnston sent: “We might need to do the same here in Nevada. Which means we need to get the Proud Boys out.”

Cirillo then talked about living in Florida during the 2000 presidential recount and how that prepared her for this. “So I’m ready,” she said.

At 10:31 p.m., Johnston wrote: “I’ll let you know as soon as I know it’s happening. But wanted you to be mentally ready.”

The Nevada Current reports that Cirillo then sent an email to a group of Republicans at 11:05 p.m. and she wrote “just received this from the GOP. They are asking me to potentially gather the ‘boys and all the patriots and lead a literal (non violent) charge on the County Elections office.”

In a statement provided to Nevada Current at the end of May, Cirillo provided more context: “The McShane group knew I was a progressive and despite that, relied on me for help. If I didn’t specify that the protestors should forego violence, I’m not sure what would have happened.”

The last payment to McShane from the Sears campaign was in May according to the latest financial reports from the Virginia Public Access Project.

“They no longer work for us. Once we were made aware of their affiliation, they were terminated,” a Sears spokesperson said Monday.

Requests for comment from McShane LLC have not been returned. In a statement to the Nevada Current, the founder of the firm denied any knowledge that someone from his firm requested Proud Boy attendance. “I have no reason to believe that’s the case,” said Rory McShane. “That would be the first time I’ve heard of it.”  


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