Tuesday’s elections will not only play a major role in the Democratic presidential primary; they will also determine the political fortunes of many religious-right candidates running in crowded Republican primaries, some with the active support of Christian nationalist political operatives and dominionist religious leaders.
Here are just a few candidates whose campaigns will either move forward or be shut down in Tuesday’s primaries:
Sean Feucht is a missionary and musician affiliated with the controversial northern California megachurch Bethel and its global music ministry. Feucht is running in California’s 3rd Congressional District. He has been endorsed by dominionist apostles and prophets and by Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who has allied himself with Christian nationalist organizer David Lane. Feucht has touted on social media his December visit to the White House with Bethel colleagues and other conservative evangelicals. The way California’s primary system works, in order for Feucht to be on the ballot to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. John Garamendi this fall, he has to be one of the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary. One of his Republican opponents, Tamika Hamilton, has the support of local GOP committees.
Jeff McFarlin, an oil-and-gas businessman, is running in a crowded Republican primary in the 23rd Congressional District in Texas, where incumbent Republican Rep. Will Hurd is stepping down. McFarlin’s wife has said that Feucht’s encouragement was a big reason they have jumped into the race. McFarlin’s candidacy has been promoted by “prophetic” author and speaker Lance Wallnau, a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism and a major Trump booster. In a Facebook video conversation with McFarlin, Wallnau praised him as an “ambassador for the kingdom” within the business community. In a campaign video addressing abortion, McFarlin declared, “We will see this end in our generation.”
Amy Phan West is running in southern California’s 47th Congressional District. West, who came to the U.S. as a Vietnamese refugee, has campaigned in opposition to “California’s shocking SeXXX Ed curriculum.” She attended a Jan. 20 Pastors and Pews event organized by Lane and appeared at a Feb. 19 event featuring Kirk at Jack Hibbs’ Calvary Chapel Chino Hills megachurch. Hibbs, a David Lane ally who unabashedly defies restrictions on electoral politicking by churches, invited West on stage, where she declared, “I’m for God, guns, and babies, and that’s what I’m fighting for.” Hibbs praised West, saying, “I know this little girl, and she is a tornado.” Hibbs also made a campaign video for West, and she quickly turned her appearance at Chino Hills into another video. Pastor Jason Powell, an associate pastor to Greg Laurie at Harvest Christian Fellowship, also appeared in a campaign video, describing West as a “hard-working girl that really loves the Lord.” As for the pastors referring to her as a girl, West promoted herself on twitter with the hashtag #TrumpGirl and told Ballotpedia, “I love President Trump and will be his biggest ally in Congress once I get elected.” West is one of six candidates in the primary, including incumbent Democrat Rep. Alan Lowenthal. She has also been endorsed by Stephen Baldwin.
Young Kim is running again for the 39th Congressional District seat she narrowly lost in 2018. On election night, when she appeared to be ahead, she publicly thanked Lane, who she described as one of her “prayer warriors.” Hibbs also promoted Kim’s 2018 candidacy, hosting a meet-and-greet and urging people to vote for her. He’s backing her again this year; on Feb. 13, Hibbs posted on his Facebook page, “I just voted for Young Kim.” A fundraising email sent by Kim’s campaign last summer used a Cisco, Texas, address that has also been used by the Wilks family, billionaire funders of Lane’s political organizing.
DeAnna Lorraine, a YouTube personality and pundit, may be waging the most quixotic battle of all; she is running in California’s 12th Congressional District, the seat held by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Lorraine was also given time on the stage at Hibbs’ church, where she said her campaign slogan is “God, Family and Country.” She called her campaign a “David and Goliath battle,” claiming, “I am fighting the head of the snake—Nancy Pelosi.” Hibbs said he has been calling San Francisco-area pastors to let them know about Lorraine’s “crusade.” A Lorraine campaign video includes a clip of herself speaking at the right-wing American Priority Conference. Last week, Lorraine posted a video clip of “the great Alex Jones” praising her at the National File and Infowars Protect Our Free Speech Rally held in DC just before the start of CPAC. “DeAnna Lorraine is amazing,” Jones said. “She’s so smart, she’s bubbly, she’s on fire. And she’s running against Nancy Pelosi!”