How a QAnon conspiracy theorist won a Georgia GOP congressional primary battle with the help of Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan

How a QAnon conspiracy theorist won a Georgia GOP congressional primary battle with the help of Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan
Election '20

On Tuesday, August 11, many conservatives were hoping that Marjorie Taylor Greene — a QAnon conspiracy theorist — would lose a GOP congressional primary runoff in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. But Greene was victorious, defeating fellow Republican John Cowan (a neurosurgeon) by double digits. Now, a devotee of the QAnon cult will be competing with Democrat Kevin Van Ausdale in the general election, and Greene pulled off her primary victory with the help of well-known Republicans like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Politically, Greene is a far-right Republican, comparing Democratic billionaire George Soros to Nazis and describing the 2018 midterms as an “Islamic invasion of our government.” And she has openly promoted the QAnon cult, which believes that President Donald Trump was sent to combat an international pedophile ring and that a mysterious figure named Q is providing updates about Trump’s battle.

Greene, in a 2017 video posted on YouTube, described “Q” as “someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us — and he is very pro-Trump.” Greene went on to say, “I’m very excited about that now there’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it.”

In the general election, Greene will be competing with Van Ausdale — who works in the tech industry — for the seat that Republican Rep. Tom Graves will be vacating. And she stands a good chance of winning: according to the Cook Political Report, Georgia’s 14th Congressional District is 27% more Republican than the U.S. on the whole.

In addition to Jordan and Meadows, Greene received donations from Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Citizens United and Koch Industries (which is co-owned by billionaire Republican mega-donor Charles Koch). Jordan, Meadows and Citizens United, according to the American Independent, all donated $2000 to her campaign — while Biggs donated $1000. Meanwhile, Koch Industries donated $5000 through its political action committee.

In an e-mail sent to AlterNet this week, a spokesperson for Koch Industries stressed that “Koch does not support her campaign” —  noting that “in June, upon learning of Ms. Greene’s past comments, KOCHPAC immediately requested a refund of its contribution” and saying that Koch does not condone Greene’s “harmful and divisive rhetoric.”

Scott Hogan, executive director of the Georgia Democratic Party, pointed to Greene’s primary victory as proof that extremism is openly embraced in her party.

“Republican extremism is on the ballot across Georgia,” The Hill quotes Hogan as saying, “and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s primary win tonight after embracing vile racism and conspiracy theories represents exactly what’s wrong with today’s GOP…. Georgia Republicans own this crisis, and their mealy-mouthed statements can’t hide the fact that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nomination is a stain on their party.”

Rep. Cheri Bustos, the Illinois Democrat who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, spoke out as well — saying, “Georgia Republicans, and Republican candidates running across the country, will have to answer for her hateful views in their own campaigns.”

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