On Monday, Right Wing Watch highlighted a few congressional races featuring candidates who are connected to dominionist “apostles” and “prophets” and/or Christian nationalist political operative David Lane and his network of politically active pastors. Most of those candidates failed to make it through yesterday’s primaries and onto the general election ballot.
The most successful of the candidates RWW highlighted this week was Young Kim, who is making her second run in California’s 39th Congressional District. The GOP desperately wants to take back this Orange County seat.
In 2018, Kim appeared to be leading on election night, but lost in a squeaker after all the early and absentee ballots were counted. As of this morning, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, the California Secretary of State shows Kim leading Rep. Gil Cisneros by about 6,800 votes, setting up a November rematch between Kim and Cisneros. Kim has been backed by Lane and Pastor Jack Hibbs, whose Calvary Chapel Chino Hills megachurch ran its own ballot harvesting operation this year. A few weeks ago, Hibbs announced on Facebook, “I just voted for Young Kim.”
Candidates who fell short in California primaries included Sean Feucht in the 3rd Congressional District, Deanna Lorraine in the 12th Congressional District, and Amy Phan West in the 47th Congressional District. West and Lorraine were both endorsed by Hibbs at a Feb. 19 event with Turning Point USA founder and president Charlie Kirk at Hibbs’ church. Feucht had prayed with Trump at the White House in December and was endorsed by Lane and Kirk as well as dominionists Cindy Jacobs and Ché Ahn.
In Texas, young oil-and-gas businessman Jeff McFarlin was part of a crowded Republican primary field in the 23rd Congressional District. McFarlin was seeking the nomination to replace Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who decided not to run for reelection. McFarlin’s candidacy was promoted by Lance Wallnau, a Trump-boosting “prophetic” author and proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism. But unofficial results posted by the Texas Secretary of State office this morning show McFarlin in fifth place, with about 10 percent of the vote.
While their 2020 campaigns are over, it seems likely that we’ll be hearing more from these candidates in the future—and we will certainly continue to hear from Lane, Hibbs, and their allies. Lane’s effort to bring California and the nation into alignment with his biblical worldview by mobilizing conservative evangelicals is a long-term project that is seeking to raise and spend $22 million this year to boost conservative Christian turnout in 10 battleground states.
Another religious-right favorite who failed to make it through yesterday’s primaries is former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who lost a special election for the U.S. Senate in 2017 and wanted a chance to run again against the winner of that race, Sen. Doug Jones. But Moore didn’t manage to make it out of the single digits yesterday, finishing in fourth place. Former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions did make the runoff, but President Donald Trump seems determined to stymie his bid to return to the Senate, tweeting this morning, “this is what happens to someone who … doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt.”