Ron Watkins, a prolific promoter of false conspiracies about the 2020 election who is closely linked to the QAnon movement, says he is running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona.
Watkins has a large and ardent follower among Donald Trump supporters, who believe the former president’s false claims that he lost the election due to fraud. His candidacy could turn the race into one of the GOP’s top congressional pickup targets.
Watkins filed papers with Arizona’s secretary of state this week and later posted a video on Telegram in which he claimed the election was stolen from Trump.
“We must now move this fight to Washington, D.C., and vote for all those dirty Democrats who stole our republic,” Watkins says in the video, taped outside the offices of Arizona Attorney General Mark Branovich. , on which Watkins is pressuring people to accuse. On the 2020 election. “We must fix that from inside our election machine.”
It is not clear whether Watkins currently resides in Arizona or its formerly congressional district. In the days before his announcement, he posted photos of himself with Republican Kari Lake, a former television anchor running for governor with support from Trump, and a former attorney general running again to head the Education Department. And the state’s school superintendent is Tom Horn. He supported both the candidates.
Watkins did not answer phones and did not respond to text messages and emails sent to contact information on the statement of interest filed with Arizona election officials.
Watkins was the longtime administrator of 8kun and its predecessor, 8chan, online message boards known for misinformation and hate speech, and who were instrumental in irrigating the QAnon conspiracy movement. He has said that he left the role last year.
A core belief for QAnon’s followers is that Trump was secretly fighting the devil-worshipping, child sex-trafficking cabal of prominent Democrats, Hollywood’s elite and “deep state” enemies. An internet poster calling himself Q fueled the movement by allegedly posting clues about Trump’s efforts on an 8kun message board.
Many believe that Watkins himself is responsible for the messages allegedly posted by Q. He denies this.
Arizona’s First District, which spans vast areas of the state’s rural northern and eastern parts, is a top pickup target for Republicans. The boundaries are still being drawn by the state’s independent redistribution commission, but it is widely believed that the district will be one of the state’s most competitive.
Incumbent Democrat Tom O’Halleran is a former Republican and a retired police officer serving his third term.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /