Far-right provocateur Laura Loomer is on the ballot today in the Republican primary race to represent Florida’s 21st District in Congress. Loomer leads the race in fundraising and may even win, raising the profile of her candidacy and bigoted views.
Loomer, who if elected would represent Palm Beach County, home of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a Lago, has been an active right-wing operative since 2016, when she supported Trump’s presidential campaign via attention-grabbing stunts and advocacy. She has since helped lead numerous demonstrations and rallies for various Trumpian causes, often in concert with far-right nationalists. She has posed for photographs with extremists, including white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Loomer’s most notable ventures have targeted Big Tech companies, inspired by her bans from nearly every major platform for engaging in hate speech, online harassment, or in-person confrontations. Loomer frames herself as a free speech absolutist who is fighting to restore the First Amendment rights she claims tech companies have taken from conservatives. Although banned from mainstream platforms like Twitter, Loomer continues to toil away on platforms like Parler, where she has gained 150,000 followers, to spread Islamophobia, disinformation, and hate.
Loomer has called Muslims “savages” and referred to herself as a “#ProudIslamophobe.” On multiple occasions, she has proclaimed that she does not care about what happened to Muslims in the Christchurch shootings, where more than 50 people were murdered. She said on her Telegram channel: “I do care more about my free speech than Christchurch.”
Using free speech, Laura Loomer reiterates she doesn’t care about neo-Nazi terrorist murdering 51 people. She doesn’t care because victims were Muslim, suggests those upset about neo-Nazi terrorism don’t care about 9/11. But decent people care about both. Loomer was 7 on 9/11. pic.twitter.com/NxZZ764Nm5
— Luke O’Brien (@lukeobrien) May 18, 2019
White nationalist hate group VDARE has promoted her campaign for Congress, as has Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. Trump allies Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is up for reelection this year and has his own connections to far-right figures, and Roger Stone, a convicted felon and associate of the Proud Boys hate group, have endorsed Loomer.
According to The Daily Beast, Loomer has raised more than $1.1 million for her congressional campaign and hired Karen Giorno, a former Trump campaign adviser, to lead her campaign. Loomer’s campaign website touts endorsements from far-right figures including Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, columnist Michelle Malkin, and radio host Wayne Allyn Root.
Even if Loomer wins her primary, she faces a tough election in November. Florida’s 21st District is solidly blue; incumbent Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel defeated her last Republican challenger by nearly 30%.