At Least 4 QAnon Supporters Are Running For Office As Republicans In 2020
Four candidates running in primaries for Congress have been identified as being affiliated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory through campaign Twitter accounts or in interviews with news organizations, according to NBC News.
The conspiracy theory, QAnon, began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous message-board 4chan by someone using the name Q. The theory alleges that a secret plot by the “deep state” exists against President Donald Trump and his supporters and falsely asserts that multiple Democratic officials and liberal celebrities control a worldwide child sex-trafficking ring.
Matthew Lusk, running unopposed in the Republican primary for Florida’s 5th Congressional District, lists “Q” among the 51 issues on his campaign website.
Danielle Stella, running in a Republican primary to determine who will go up against Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, frequently retweets QAnon-related messages and uses the rallying #WWG1WGA hashtag, which stands for the motto “where we go one, we go all.”
Republican primary candidate Rich Helms in Texas’ 33rd Congressional District has used the #WWG1WGA hashtag and expressed support for QAnon accounts.
While Republican primary candidate in California’s 36th District Erin Cruz doesn’t mention Q in any of her campaign material, she acknowledges that many of her online supporters are likewise QAnon supporters.
All four candidates have previously stated their support for Donald Trump.
Although Trump has never explicitly stated his support or denial of the conspiracy theory, he has retweeted profiles with a Q logo or QAnon messaging in their bios and has met with a prominent QAnon booster and radio host, Michael William Lebron.
“I don’t know that he’s necessarily willfully pushing out the entire conspiracy theory,” Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser said, referring to Trump. “I do think he’s endorsing and pushing out certain elements of it.”
“But that’s what makes a good, effective conspiracy theory,” he continued, “elements of truth or elements of nuance that can be promoted, right?”