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Marjorie Taylor Greene has won a House seat in Georgia’s deeply conservative 14th congressional district—and become the first candidate who has openly supported QAnon to reach Congress.
Greene, a Republican who said QAnon is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out,” won virtually unopposed after her Democratic rival, Kevin Van Ausdal, announced he was withdrawing from the race in September. She also has a history of making racist, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic comments.
While Greene won easily, Van Ausdal’s name remained on the ballot and garnered over 20% of the vote on Tuesday, the AP reported.
Greene prevailed in a crowded primary race back in August with 40% of the vote to win a spot on the ballot to replace Republican Rep. Tom Graves who announced in late 2019 that he would not run for reelection.
QAnon, which stems from the baseless claims of a mysterious leader named Q, is a conspiracy theory that puts Democrats and Hollywood elite as the operators of a global child sex trafficking ring, facilitated by the deep state, and Donald Trump as the one working to disrupt it. The belief system emerged from the remnants of the debunked Pizzagate in 2017, and the FBI has labeled it a potential domestic terror threat.
Greene, who has the public backing of the president, was never shy about her support for the QAnon conspiracy theory before announcing her candidacy.
As well as tweeting “#GreatAwakening”—one of QAnon’s best-known sayings—to Alex Jones and calling Q “a patriot,” Greene even posted videos detailing the evidence she believes proves Q is “the real deal.”
But since she won the primary and the support of Trump, Greene has attempted to walk back her links to the baseless conspiracy theory. She told Fox News in August that she is not a “QAnon candidate.”
Greene ran her campaign closely echoing Trump’s talking points.
“So the Republican establishment was against me. The D.C. swamp has been against me. And the lying fake news media hates my guts,” she said during her primary acceptance speech in August. “Yep, it’s a badge of honor.”
A self-funded businesswoman, Greene drew criticism not only for her support of QAnon but also for comments made in videos unearthed in June, just days after she won the primary.
In the videos, she complains of an “Islamic invasion” into government offices, claims Black and Latino men are held back by “gangs and dealing drugs,” and pushes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish, collaborated with the Nazis.
A glut of more than two dozen candidates with links to QAnon emerged over the last several months, which lead to speculation that a so-called “Qaucus” could take shape in Congress.
But Greene ended up being one of just two with realistic chances of winning a seat.
The other is Burgess Owens, a Republican running in Utah’s 4th District. FiveThirtyEight gave him a 42 in 100 chance of winning the seat.
Owens has appeared on a pro-QAnon podcast and YouTube channel and has said he thinks the conspiracy theory is worth taking a look at.
Like Greene, however, he has distanced himself from the movement and called accusations of him supporting QAnon as “silly.”