A protester waves a QAnon flag near the Washington Monument, as part of the Unsilent March, in Washington, D.C., on October 3, 2020. (Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
A Republican operative who helped propel QAnon into the mainstream back in 2017 has just been elected to a leadership role in a local Republican party in South Carolina.Tracy Diaz, also known online as Tracy Beanz, won a landslide victory Saturday in Horry County, a working-class coastal haven, where she was overwhelmingly voted onto the state executive committee.
Diaz's position isn’t a powerful one, but her victory is notable given the recent trend of QAnon believers winning elected positions in local and state races across the U.S.“It’s our time,” Diaz said in a voice message posted to followers on Telegram. In another message she said: “We are off to the races. It is possible, you can do it too.” Diaz no longer has a presence on mainstream media channels after she was kicked off for sharing QAnon conspiracies.Diaz is a longtime Republican operative who worked for former Texas Rep. Ron Paul as well as being part of the Tea Party movement. At the same time, under the moniker Tracy Beanz, she also carved out a niche for herself online discussing conspiracy theories on her YouTube channel, taking about WikiLeaks and the baseless Pizzagate conspiracy.But it was Diaz's work in helping QAnon go mainstream that propelled her to a new level of fame online, as an NBC investigation revealed in 2018.Diaz, according to her own recounting of events, was contacted by two of the moderators of the 4chan board where the anonymous leader of QAnon, known simply as Q, posted messages.They contacted her, Diaz says, in order to help get QAnon more attention outside the world of 4chan, as well as to help boost their own followings.
“I do not typically do videos like this,” Diaz said in a video she uploaded to YouTube just six days after Q first posted in 2017. Citing Q’s “very specific and kind of eerie” messages, Diaz told her audience that she would be covering the 4chan posts, “just in case this stuff turns out to be legit because honestly it kind of seems legit.”Diaz even claimed in one blog post that it was her idea to move QAnon off 4chan and start a Reddit thread dedicated to the conspiracy movement. Diaz posted dozens of more videos, racking up over 8 million views as QAnon grew to become a massive conspiracy movement, trapping tens of millions of people and irrevocably damaging families across the U.S.Diaz said she was was just one of “three MAGA candidates” in Horry County who won election on Saturday. Roger Slagle, a businessman, was named the party’s new county chair and Jeremy Halpin was named vice-chair. All three candidates had been endorsed by Lin Wood, the pro-Trump lawyer who is currently running for chair of the South Carolina Republican Party and who has become one of the most influenctial people in the QAnon conspiracy universe.
Wood spoke at an event in Myrtle Beach on Friday night where Diaz, Slagle,and Halpin also spoke. Congratulating the trio on his Telegram channel on Saturday night, Wood wrote:“Despite the efforts of the establishment opponents, today in Horry County, S.C., the We The People slate of officers won resounding victories. Clean sweep.”As well as being endorsed by Wood, Diaz was also endorsed by disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who, along with Wood, is one of the most listened-to figures in QAnon world.Flynn’s brother, Joseph Flynn, who is currently suing CNN for portraying him as a QAnon supporter after he appeared in a video typing the QAnon oath, also congratulated Diaz on her victory.Diaz and the South Carolina Republican Party did not respond to requests for comment about her election.