Ron Watkins hopes to move from QAnon to Congress, replace Tom O’Halleran | Elections – Tucson, Arizona


Tucson, Arizona 2021-10-25 09:45:00 –

Before Ron Watkins, a notorious MAGA conspiracy theorist who helped spread the far-right violent QAnon conspiracy, posted a video on his Telegram account announcing his candidacy for the Arizona local council district, he was in Maricopa County. I registered to vote.

Watkins, Widely believed Have Behind QAnon’s master accountIs making a national headline in a parliamentary bid in Arizona trying to dismiss Democrat Tom O’Halleran in a large rural area, including most of Arizona.

However, the district will not exist in 2022. All districts of the state have been redrawn by the Arizona Independent Subdivision Commission and no final decision will be made until the end of the year.

NS Arizona Mirror A copy of Watkins voter registration information was obtained through the state’s public records law. This is a condo in the Biltmore district of Phoenix, showing Watkins registered to vote in Maricopa County on October 9. According to property records, the property is owned by Liz Harris, who lost his bid to the state legislature in 2020 and later became a Republican. A major supporter of false claims That widespread scam changed the outcome of the election.

Harris is also a real estate agent for real estate for sale in August.Online real estate websites, condominiums The price is about $ 287,000 and the sale is pending.. It is unknown if Watkins is buying the property.

Harris is the driving force behind a group of Conservatives who have investigated allegations of fraudulent voting in Maricopa County and other parts of the state.However, the report she led based on the door-to-door visit Was full of errors, Lists the area where the house was located as a vacant lot, including the lack of other supporting information.

But who exactly is Watkins? And how can a man who has lived in Japan, China, or the Philippines for the past decade run for high-ranking Arizona officials?

Mass shootings and child pornography

Prior to QAnon, many began to associate Watkins with an online image board called 8chan. It was later renamed to 8kun. Watkins did not create the site — its founder was Fredrick Brennan, who later cut off the relationship with the website — but he became its administrator after his father, Jim Watkins, purchased it.

This site is a hotbed for hosting radical and illegal content.It has Hosted child pornography, And the white supremacist mass shootings do it Platform for spreading the manifest..

New Zealand Christchurch archer he said Frequently participate in 4chan and 8chan bulletin boards A place where far-right and white supremacist rhetoric is widespread and directly linked Other real-life hate crimes..The website also promoted anti-Semitism at some point Cryptocurrency creation For users to boost their posts with a program called “King of the Shekel”.

However, 8kun’s most active board is “Q Research”. As of October 20, the board had over 1,300 unique users and over 14 million posts.

At the start of the campaign, Watkins began to move away from QAnon and even claimed he was not involved in the movement.Hello Major QAnon Convention Headlines Later this month.

Brennan, former administrator of 8chan Either Ron or Jim Watkins Both men have, but were behind QAnon’s post Firmly denied involvement In the post.

From Asia to Arizona

Before coming to Arizona, Watkins lived in Japan for about a year.Before that, he had again Lived in China And the Philippines where 8chan and 8kun were based.

And while he is registered to vote in the neighborhood of the small Maricopa County, Watkins is running for a vast rural parliamentary district. District 1 extends from the Four Corners to the northern suburbs of Tucson and occupies part of Yavapai County along with the entire eastern part of Arizona. With an area of ​​58,608 square miles, it is the largest parliamentary district in the country, with more than 25 states.

In him First campaign filing Together with the Federal Election Commission, Watkins lists the PO Box in Sedona’s mailbox store as the official address for the campaign. However, Watkins used his Phoenix address in presenting himself as both the official administrator of the record and the treasurer of the campaign.

Arizona law Parliamentary candidates only need to be registered voters and do not need to live in the parliamentary district they want to represent or be registered to vote. Watkins is running for Congress, so he must be a resident of the state.

What does Watkins’ candidacy mean?

“In the last few decades we wouldn’t have noticed or cared about it,” said Professor Joseph Uscinski of the University of Miami. Specializes in conspiracy theory,Said mirror..

But as QAnon becomes more prominent, Mainstream in Republican politicsAnd because of Watkins’ position within the QAnon community, his candidacy received far more attention than would have been historically produced, Ushinsky said.

He ran for all presidential elections from 1976 to 2004 and Numerous conspiracy theories..

“I don’t have the impression that Ron Watkins fits into any type of Republican or Democratic Party. Mr. Ushinsky talked about what Watkins and his candidacy mean for the political nature of Arizona.” I don’t know what’s going on in people’s hearts. ”

Watkins did not respond to requests for comment on his policy goals, his connection with Harris, and his motivation to run.

Watkins is certainly not the first candidate to run for Congress from QAnon Atsunuma, but he is the most prominent.Last year Increasing number of candidates with QAnon’s beliefs, Many in Arizona, but only two were successful. And only Marjorie Taylor Greene “committed” to QAnon, Uscinski said.

QAnon is deeply rooted in Arizona. Including among the elected officials.. And since the 2020 elections, many state politicians and candidates have begun to fully embrace QAnon’s beliefs. Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted “Q Drop” as a candidate for governor. Kali Lake tweeted QAnon’s plot that Jeffrey Epstein was killed.

Watkins and Audit

Watkins is also associated with the self-proclaimed “audit” of the state legislature.

Doug Logan, CEO of a Florida-based company hired to audit Maricopa’s 2020 election results, said: Asked Watkins to contact him To him Obsolete Twitter.. It is unknown if the two have ever been connected.

Watkins is also connected to auditing through Conan HayesA former professional surfer who earned millions of dollars by selling a clothing company that became a prominent player in the world of “electoral fraud” conspiracy. At My Pillow’s “Cyber ​​Symposium” in August, Watkins said he received a voting machine file from Mesa County, Colorado. Haze..

Hayes was his Twitter account, which was subsequently deactivated, and he Visit phoenix In late July. ABC15 Reporter Garrett Archer Also claimed to have seen Hayes “Audit” floor.

Cyber ​​Ninja refused to answer the question from mirror Whether Hayes was involved in the “audit” as a paid contractor or volunteer.

As a Republican, Watkins needs to collect petition signatures from GOP voters in the district he wants to represent in order to qualify for voting. The number of signatures he needs to collect is unknown until January, but current CD1 candidates needed more than 1,400 in the 2020 elections.

“I don’t necessarily think QAnon supporters will line up for him,” Uscinski said, the QAnon community Increasingly polarized fractures The repeated prophecies that Trump was defeated and he was resurrected proved false, so “It could get him free ads for other projects, or he might really want to win. I don’t know. “

Arizona Mirror Is part of the States Newsroom, a network of news stations supported by grants and a 501c (3) coalition of donors as a public charity. Arizona Miller maintains editorial independence. If you have any questions, please contact the editor Jim Small. Arizona Mirror Facebook When twitter..

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