Joey Gibson Is Devastated In His Race For Senate, But It Was Never Really About Winning

Joey Gibson, the organizer of a Patriot Prayer rally that inspired havoc in the streets of downtown Portland, Oregon, last night lost his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate from Washington state. Running as a Republican in the party primary, Gibson received less than 3 percent of the vote—but that still means there are 24,000 people who voted for a man who openly courts dangerous extremists.

Gibson emerged on the political scene from seemingly nowhere in early 2017 and, in February, decided to announce his Senate candidacy, though he then proceeded to miss two FEC filing deadlines and reported to have raised a mere $8,000. None of that stopped him from using his campaign as a reason to host events that attracted radical extremists who flew to the West Coast from across the country.

It was all but an open secret that Gibson’s pursuit for office was a sham, existing solely as an excuse to stir up trouble, influence public opinion, and paint all activists who oppose fascism to be domestic terrorists.

Right Wing Watch was on the ground in Portland for Gibson’s most recent rally and spotted men in t-shirts glamorizing the murderous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and others emblazoned with Nazi iconography. We also saw in attendance a violence-loving activist from Texas who has threatened journalists, an alt-right bodyguard who has been caught on film doing Nazi salutes, supporters of militia groups and handfuls of neo-Confederate demonstrators. The character of the attendees at Gibson’s rally raises a lot of questions about who was funding his campaign run.

Though his quest for the Senate has ended, Gibson has announced plans to take his Patriot Prayer rally stunt to Seattle, Washington, on August 18.