UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz resigned as Mayor of Huntington Beach Pro Tem on Tuesday, ending a turbulent political race that he said ended in attacks on his family.
Ortiz, who often supports QAnon conspiracy theories online and is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was elected to office this November with more than 42,000 votes. He would become mayor of his hometown in 2022 following the expiration of the current Mayor of Huntington Beach, Kim Carr. But during a city council meeting, he announced his resignation on June 1, citing the “animosity and condemnation” he faced following his oath of office.
“Being a public figure is nothing new,” Ortiz said as he read a prepared statement. “However, the only goal is to kill characters every week, with a lot of news and personal information leaks, all of which were aimed at defaming and defaming my name. … Recently, the attacks on me have passed to my family. Now I feel that their safety is in danger. Simply put, this job doesn’t suit me. “
Ortiz’s resignation came at the first personal meeting of the council in 2021. In March, five councilors voted to keep meetings online when Ortiz said he would not wear a mask in in-person meetings, according to the Orange County Register. Ortiz’s refusal to wear the mask was one of several complaints that prompted him to be removed from office. After dozens of his supporters opposed the council before a vote, the council members decided to bring the matter up for discussion.
But in April, Ortiz was again criticized when it was revealed that in February he applied for unemployment benefits from the state of California, while he was still receiving his regular salary as mayor of Pro Tem. Carr told NBC4 that she is concerned that Ortiz has committed a scam.
Ortiz, who said he considers the coronavirus pandemic to be a hoax, fell out with Huntington Beach residents and business owners over his refusal to wear a mask, once refusing to wear it while eating. His sons Jesse and Jornie were sent home from high school last month for not wearing masks in violation of the rules. Ortiz’s girlfriend, ex-UFC ringside Amber Miller, apparently referred to the religious exemption from wearing masks and advised followers on her Instagram account that “your children’s mental health is much more important than following these guidelines. It is your right to breathe freely. “
Ortiz on Tuesday announced his decision to protect his family.
“I tried my best, but when the safety of my children becomes an issue, I am a father and I am going to protect my children,” he said. “I did my best and I hope I didn’t let anyone down.”
The 46-year-old Ortiz has dropped out of active competition several times, but returned in 2018 and 2019 to play one-off against longtime rivals Chuck Liddell and Alberto Rio. A year ago, he claimed to have fought in a celebrity boxing match with Mike Tyson. But in the end he returned to politics, where he immediately distinguished himself with his outspoken views.
Below is a video of Ortiz’s resignation.
Mayor of Huntington Beach Pro-Tem and former #MMA champion #TitoOrtiz just left the council. He has published many #Qanon conspiracy materials on social networks. He sent his children to school without masks during the mandate. But he said he resigned due to political attacks and family safety. pic.twitter.com/cnkGozdlav
– Sarah Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) June 2, 2021