Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that Green participated in the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, VA. She did not and that paragraph has been removed. — Erick
This article is brought to you by the letter Q.
Those of us who grew up watching Sesame Street might recognize the facetious sponsorship tagline of the show, but highlighting the letter “Q” has entirely different connotations in today’s politics. QAnon is a wild conspiracy theory rooted in the belief that a Washington, DC pizza parlor was a front for a pedophile ring headed by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta. In May, a QAnon follower was arrested for trying to “take out” Joe Biden with a dozen illegal knives. Think that sounds crazy? Well, an adherent to this tinfoil hat conspiracy theory is about to get elected to Congress.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, the owner of a construction company, just won the Republican primary in Georgia’s 14th congressional district. The district, located in the northwest corner of Georgia, has been represented by Republican Tom Graves since 2013, but Graves is retiring and Greene was the overwhelming top choice of Republican voters to replace him, winning more than 40 percent of the vote. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate receives a majority but Greene is the favorite having led John Cowan, her nearest competitor, by 22 points.
An undated video of Greene, in which she discusses Q, the purported anonymous Adminstration official who feeds QAnon followers tidbits of information, showed up on the internet. Greene said in the video that “Q is a patriot, we know that for sure,” and that Q’s missives are “worth listening to.”
Greene has reportedly followed Q for years and has commented on social media posts with QAnon phrases such as “Trust the plan” and “#GreatAwakening.” She replied to a 2018 Q post, calling it an ““awesome post.”
The Times of Israel points out that Greene has also posed for pictures with Chester Doles, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who served time in prison for assaulting an interracial couple. Greene responded to the questions about the images by telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the allegations were “silly and the same type of sleazy attacks the Fake News Media levels against President Trump.”
More recently, Greene was embroiled in controversy over an online video in which she carried an AR-15 and warns Antifa to “stay the hell of northwest Georgia.” The ad was banned by Facebook for the weapon and the implicit threat of violence. The ensuing controversy earned her an appearance on Fox News.
Despite her background, Greene is supported by a bevy of national Republicans and Donald Trump’s inner circle. She claims endorsements by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and is supported by a PAC associated with Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). President Trump posted a congratulatory tweet after the news of her primary victory this week.
The 14th district, which runs west from the Atlanta suburbs to the Alabama state line and then north to Tennessee, is a reliably red district. The retiring Graves won re-election in 2016 with 75 percent of the vote. If Greene wins the primary runoff, she will almost certainly be elected to Congress.
But there is a chance to stop her. There were six candidates in the first stage of the primary, which diluted opposition to her. If her critics unite behind John Cowan, the neurosurgeon and toy shop owner who placed second, 14th district voters will have a chance to avoid the humiliation of being the first district to send a QAnon devotee to Congress.
[Note: This article originally contained a claim that Greene was present at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. We have been advised that this was not accurate. We regret the error.]
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