- Congress could see an influx next year of newly minted lawmakers who subscribe to the far-right, pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.
- Ten Republican candidates who either explicitly endorsed or signaled support for the conspiracy will be on the ballot in November.
- Five candidates are running in California, while one candidate is running in districts in Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas.
- Two candidates in Georgia and Texas are also heading into upcoming primary runoffs — one with a high likelihood of winning a House seat.
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Congress could see an influx next year of newly minted lawmakers who subscribe to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.
Ten Republican candidates who either endorsed or have signaled support for the conspiracy will be on the ballot in November, according to the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters. Five of those candidates are running in California, while the five others are running in Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas.
Two candidates in Georgia and Texas are heading into upcoming primary runoffs.
Here’s who will be on the November ballot:
- Mike Cargile, a Republican running to represent California’s 35th Congressional District.
- Erin Cruz, a Republican running to represent California’s 36th Congressional District.
- Alison Hayden, a Republican running to represent California’s 15th Congressional District.
- Buzz Patterson, a Republican running to represent California’s 7th Congressional District.
- Nikka Piterman, a Republican running to represent California’s 13th Congressional District.
- Lauren Boebert, a Republican running to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
- Angela Stanton-King, a Republican running to represent Georgia’s 5th Congressional District.
- Ron Weber, a Republican running to represent Ohio’s 9th Congressional District.
- Jo Rae Perkins, a Republican running for an Oregon Senate seat. She previously ran to represent the state’s 4th Congressional District but withdrew from the Republican primary on May 19.
- Johnny Teague, a Republican running to represent Texas’ 9th Congressional District.
QAnon centers around an anonymous online individual known as “Q,” who claims to have top-secret security clearance. The Daily Beast reported that “Q” first surfaced in October 2017 on the fringe website 4chan, before moving over to 8chan.
Broadly, the conspiracy theory claims that the world is run by a Satanic cabal of elites intent on bringing down the Trump presidency.
It alleges, among other things, that the former special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and other top Democrats who opposed Trump; that the so-called American “deep state” tried to shoot down Air Force One before Trump’s summit in North Korea last year.
Followers believe there will be a “Great Awakening” before a “storm” — an idea derived from the president’s unclear reference in 2017 to “the calm before the storm” — during which Trump will conquer elites, globalists, and the deep state.
Ultimately, they believe, Trump is going to fix everything by sending Obama, Clinton, and others to Guantanamo Bay.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican candidate running to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, dominated a GOP primary earlier this month and is headed to a runoff with a high likelihood of clinching the House seat.
“Q is a patriot, we know that for sure,” Greene said in a recent video. “I don’t know who Q is, but I’m just going to tell you about it because I think it’s something worth listening to and paying attention to.”
GOP leaders condemned Greene last month after Politico revealed racist, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic comments she made in Facebook videos.
And in Texas, Republican candidate Samuel Williams won a March 3 primary and will head to a runoff on July 14.
Lauren Boebert, a far-right gun rights advocate who won her Tuesday primary against incumbent Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton, said during a May interview with conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel that if QAnon was real, “it could be really great for our country.”
“I hope that this is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that’s what I am for,” Boebert said.
There is no evidence that any aspect of the conspiracy theory is true, and it has been debunked by multiple media outlets. Still, it’s not unusual to spot multiple signs promoting QAnon at Trump rallies.
Last year, the Trump campaign drew backlash when it released an ad that featured multiple supporters holding QAnon signs, weeks after the FBI warned that conspiracy theories are a domestic terrorism threat.
In a “Women for Trump” video posted by the campaign last July, which was first reported by Vox, a supporter was seen holding a sign that says “Keep America Great” with a “Q” taped onto it. Later, another supporter was seen holding a “Women for Trump” sign where the O’s were replaced with “Q”s. The ad was later taken down.
At a Trump rally in March of last year, dozens of his supporters wore T-shirts emblazoned with the letter “Q,” held signs reading “We are Q,” and shouted support for “Q” while waiting in line in Grand Rapids, Michigan.