Third Time’s A Charm? MAGA Pastor Mark Burns Advances To Runoff For GOP Nomination

Mark Burns is a right-wing pastor, conspiracy theorist, and unabashed Trump cultist who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in South Carolina in 2018 and 2022. Burns is running again this year, but in a new district in hopes of taking advantage of GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan’s decision not to run for reelection in what the Associated Press described as “a solidly Republican South Carolina district.”

On Tuesday, Burns advanced to a runoff for the Republican nomination, no doubt assisted by the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

The race for South Carolina’s most conservative U.S. House district is headed to a runoff.

Mark Burns, a leading face of the Christian nationalist movement, and Sheri Biggs, a nurse and lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, battled for the lead in the first round of voting in the June 11 Republican primary for the Upstate’s 3rd Congressional District.

Because neither garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, the pair are heading to a runoff where Upstate voters will be asked to come out again June 25.

When Burns first announced his latest run for Congress, Right Wing Watch highlighted his long history of lying about his accomplishments and making outlandish statements.

Burns is an overt Christian nationalist who has declared that far-right Christians intend to “take over” the government and ensure that “laws that are contrary to God’s word” are overturned. He has repeatedly demonized and endorsed violence against his political enemies, declaring that if he is elected, he’ll resurrect the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee for the purpose of charging citizens, members of the media, and elected officials with treason.

Burns even went so far as to proclaim that the LGBTQ agenda represents “a national security threat” and that anyone promoting it is guilty of treason and should be executed.

“They were indoctrinating those young minds then; they are doing the very same thing here in America,” Burns said. “The LGBT, transgender grooming our children’s minds is a national security threat because it is ultimately designed to destabilize the republic we call the United States of America. That’s why when I’m elected, I don’t want to just vote, I want to start holding people accountable for treason to the Constitution.”

“I am going to push to reenact HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee,” Burns vowed. “It is a committee that we should reenact that starts holding these people accountable for treason.”

Burns has continued his habit of making incoherent and outrageous statements during his current campaign, such as declaring that there must be wall on the southern border because “there is a wall in Heaven” to keep people out, asserting that the Rapture will happen within his lifetime, and demanding that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of “The Squad” be placed “in chains” and “held for treason.”

At a rally on the eve of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Burns fired up the crowd, telling Trump supporters “we’re ready to do war” and shouting, “We are gonna make it hell for Joe Biden! Because I believe he won’t be the next president of the United States. Somebody say, ”Never!’ Shout, ‘Never! Not on my watch! Not on my watch!’”

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