Republican Jo Rae Perkins, now the official challenger to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in November, acknowledged her Tuesday night primary win with a proclamation of her solidarity with acolytes of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“Where we go one, we go all,” she says in a Twitter video, brandishing a “#WWG1WG” sticker with the group’s motto in hashtag form.
“I stand with President Trump, I stand with Q and the team,” she continues. “Thank you anons and thank you patriots. And together, we can save our republic.”
QAnon is a sweeping far-right conspiracy theory which envisions a secret battle between President Donald Trump and a “deep state” supposedly working to destabilize him. The belief system is stitched together from a series of other conspiracy theories, such as Pizzagate, comprised of often incoherent assertions.
For example, QAnon believers often baselessly accuse major Democratic and pop culture figures of being pedophiles and Satan-worshippers. They also believe that a coming event, often referred to as “The Storm,” will leave Trump’s enemies rounded up and tried for their alleged heinous crimes, possibly to be executed or sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Perkins, who won the primary with a nearly 50 percent plurality of the vote, per the New York Times, has long been known to be a QAnon believer.
On her very active Facebook page, she has shared posts supposedly written by Q, the leader of the movement.
Her Twitter feed is also replete with posts about the conspiracy theory.
And in videos she released earlier in her campaign, the #WWG1WGA sticker she’s holding in her Tuesday video is propped up on a bookshelf, visible in the shot.
She was even more explicit in an interview with Right Wing Watch in January. Then, she was running a third time for a U.S. House seat. She ultimately dropped out of that race to run for Senate instead. Besides those two unsuccessful House bids, she also ran a losing race for U.S. Senate in 2014.
“I think that there’s probably a lot of us out there, but I just happen to be bold enough to say, ‘Hey, I’m following Q because I want to know, because if the Q team is real, I want to know about it,’” she told Right Wing Watch. “If the Q team is not real and it’s fake, I want to know about it, because we have to be willing to look at both sides of the issue.”
She called including her beliefs in her campaign a “highly calculated risk” that’s either “pure genius or pure insanity.”
Her campaign did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.
She’ll run against Merkley in November, who is running for his third term. He won his last election in 2014 by about 56 percent of the vote, and political analysts view the seat is a safe Democratic hold.
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