(Forsyth County, GA) A mystery man in Forsyth County is taking the phrase running for office quite literally.
Residents are stumped over the identity of a man spotted around town jogging shirtless in a Donald Trump mask and cape, wearing American flag-inspired shorts and boxing gloves while holding a large Herschel Walker flag unfurled behind him.
Kimberly Bond, a journalist who writes for NewsBreak, said she saw the masked man running on October 18 on Bethelview Road near Castleberry Road at about 5 p.m. It was 48 degrees outside at the time.
“Once I got past my initial surprise, my first thought was that he was probably cold! It was a chilly, breezy day and he was not wearing a lot of clothing,” Bond said.
“My 6-year-old daughter was in the car with me and let's just say she had a lot of questions,” Bond added. “Later that day we ran into some neighbors on a walk and they had heard about him too.”
The masked runner has been spotted for several weeks running in various areas throughout the county. There have been mentions of him at local events and on social media.
Witnesses have reported seeing him at the following locations during the month of October:
- Marketplace Boulevard
- Forsyth County Republicans tent at the Cumming Country Fair & Festival
- Peachtree Parkway in front of The Collection
- Cumming Square
- Bethelview Road
- Kelly Mill Road
- Bethelview Road at Hwy 9
Katelyn Ezekial, a 14-year-old who lives in Forsyth County, stopped to take a photo with the masked runner when she saw him near the Forsyth County Republican's tent at the Cumming Country Fair & Festival last month.
“He was running around the [Cumming] fair and was definitely getting a lot of attention there,” Ezekiel said.
In hopes of uncovering his identity, this reporter posted a photo of the masked runner on the private Facebook group Focus on Forsyth. Although no one could identify him, many commented on everything ranging from his message to his intention to his physique.
“I honked like crazy at him, and he started first-pumpin in the air,” one commenter posted.
“We need more of this kind of stuff in elections not less,” commented another in the group.
“He’s exercising his full right to free speech and expression. Just let him do his thing,” wrote another.
Another comment reads, “I’ll take his abs!!!!”
It’s not clear if the masked runner will help influence voters in one direction or another. But his actions certainly are turning heads.
“The Georgia Senate race is being talked about nationwide, so I guess his objective is just to attract attention to his preferred candidate,” said Bond. “He's definitely getting attention, but I'm not sure if it's influencing anyone's choice. But maybe it is at least reminding people to make time to vote!”
Let us know in the comments below whether you’ve seen the masked runner.
If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, email Michelle Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org