On Thursday, May 21, it was announced that Oregon's Republican party had chosen to nominate a relatively high profile QAnon conspiracy theorist to fill their U.S. senate candidate seat. The candidate's name is Jo Rae Perkins, according to The Guardian, and despite her radical and somewhat unconventional belief system, she reportedly defeated three other candidates in the Primary election.
What do QAnon conspiracy theorists believe? And why is it notable that Oregon's state senate candidate supports the controversial far-right extremists? Stay tuned for a rundown on the widely speculated organization known as QAnon.
What is QAnon? Where did it start?
QAnon's mysterious roots can be traced back to October 2017 when an anonymous person who went by the pseudonym "Q" took to 4Chan with a long-winded pro-Trump conspiracy theory. The theory has been deemed anti-Semitic and xenophobic, according to ADL, and it alleges that the world government is controlled by pedophiles. The theory has gone after openly Democratic public figures including Oprah, Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Clinton family. They even had a few ideas about the coronavirus.
QAnon claims that saviors called "white hats" defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that President Donald Trump will eventually uncover the government's wrongdoings. Followers have been linked to acts of murder and extreme violence, and they continue to post videos and blogs online about their extremist beliefs. Although the POTUS hasn't endorsed the theory, he has retweeted QAnon supporters on several occasions, and welcomed hundreds of "Q-Supporters" at his rallies.
A number of well-known right-wing celebrities, including actress Roseanne Barr as well as former athlete Curt Schilling, have spoken out about their endless support for the generally hateful conspiracy theory. Several Republican figureheads in the media, such as Alex Jones and even Sean Hannity have also spoken out about it. Needless to say, it's somewhat surprising we have a Q-supporting politician, but it turns out she isn't the first.
Who is Jo Rae Perkins?
Jo Rae Perkins won the Oregon GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, according to Vox, which means she will be the Republican candidate running against Democrat Jeff Merkley in the election on Nov. 3. Her outward support for QAnon and its values shows the theory's increasing popularity among right-wing voters, and unsurprisingly, her post-victory speech thanked all of her fellow Q-supporters.
“Where we go one, we go all... I stand with President Trump, I stand with Q and the team. Thank you, Anons, and thank you, patriots. Together, we can save our republic," Perkins said proudly in her speech, after winning the Republican vote in the Primaries. She, along with upwards of five other QAnon-supporting congressional candidates, will apparently be listed on the federal ballot in the 2020 election.
QAnon is a relatively new yet increasingly popular set of beliefs among right-wing voters, and if Jo Rae Perkins wins the election in the fall, it seems as though we may have another Q-supporter on the U.S. Senate.