Several politicians with ties to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory have been elected to positions of power.
Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene was declared the winner in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, becoming the first QAnon supporter to win a U.S. House seat. She was followed shortly thereafter by mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz, a fellow QAnon supporter who was elected to Huntington Beach City Council.
Greene made headlines for her anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, and bigoted statements, reported on back in June. Videos acquired by Politico appeared to show her comparing Black Lives Matter to the Klu Klux Klan, claiming that Muslims should be banned from serving in the U.S. government, and propagating anti-Semitic statements about billionaire George Soros.
The Georgia Republican also faced scrutiny for her support for QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory turned virtual cult that claims a cabal of elite pedophiles made up of Hollywood actors, Democrats, and other high-ranking officials, is behind a global child sex-trafficking ring. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has labeled the movement a “potential domestic terror threat.”
“Q is a patriot, we know that for sure,” Greene said in a 2017 video, which has since been deleted. “There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the President to do it.”
Despite her controversial statements and tinfoil hat conspiracies, Greene received support from influential GOP donors, as well as from groups associated with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
As for Ortiz, the MMA fighter finished first among 15 candidates in the Huntington Beach city council race, receiving 14.3 percent of the overall total (34,901 votes). He will serve a four-year term once he is sworn in.
Ortiz, known as the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” during his MMA career, was elected without any previous political experience. A fierce Trump loyalist, the fighter used his platform to amplify the president, associate with far-right groups, and propagate dangerous conspiracy theories such as QAnon, all while campaigning with the Trumpian slogan of “Making Huntington Beach Safe Again.”
For a while, Ortiz sold apparel marked with QAnon slogans such as WWG1WGA (short for Where We Go One We Go All) through his Punishment Athletics clothing line. (It appears that Ortiz has since removed the QAnon apparel from his site.) He also claimed that the coronavirus was “man-made” and a political scam devised to suppress protests around the world. “Once again, it’s population control by the left. They’re trying to get rid of all the older people who are getting Social Security,” Ortiz said during a podcast appearance.
Ortiz, who ran as a conservative, was endorsed by the Huntington Beach Police Officers Association, the Republican Party of Orange County, former Huntington Beach mayor and convicted felon Dave Garofalo, as well as Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.
(Author note: Right Wing Watch covered Ortiz’s campaign, including his support for the QAnon movement, here.)
It should also be noted that Lauren Boebert, the Colorado Republican who was criticized for supporting QAnon, won the race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District on Wednesday. Back in May, Boebert joined QAnon conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel on her “Steel Truth” program, where she said she believed the conspiracy theory was “only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together, stronger—and if this is real, then it can be really great for our country.” Boebert was endorsed by the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual The Conservative Political Action Conference.
According to The New York Times, Boebert has since “disavowed” the baseless conspiracy theory.
Republican Madison Cawthorn will also be heading to Congress as the youngest member elected in modern U.S. history. The 25 year old defeated Democrat Moe Davis for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. He came under scrutiny earlier this year for Instagram photos that show him visiting Adolf Hitler’s vacation house in Germany in 2017. And while he reportedly disavowed QAnon, he repeated some of the child sex trafficking claims promoted by the far-right conspiracy theory.
“But what’s really going on is we are having a large group of cartels coming into our country, kidnapping our American children and then taking them to sell them on a slave market, on the sex slave market,” Cawthorn said in a campaign video posted on Instagram.