At least 4 candidates challenging Gavin Newsom have expressed 'some level of support' for QAnon: report

At least 4 candidates challenging Gavin Newsom have expressed 'some level of support' for QAnon: report

On Tuesday, September 14, voters in California will decide whether they want to keep Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom or replace him with someone else — and the leading Republican candidate is Larry Elder, a far-right talk radio host, conspiracy theorist and Donald Trump sycophant who recently commented that former slaveowners were arguably owed reparations after the Civil War because the federal government took their "property" away from them. But Elder isn't the only extremist in the race who is hoping to unseat Newsom, and according to SF Gate reporter Katie Dowd, four Newsom challengers (mostly Republicans) have "expressed support for" the QAnon cult.

QAnon believes that the United States' federal government has been hijacked by an international cabal of child sex traffickers, pedophiles, Satanists and cannibals and that Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 to fight the cabal. Claiming that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, QAnon members are predicting that Trump will be restored to the White House long before the 2024 election. And as wacky as their beliefs are, QAnon has made considerable inroads in the Republican Party — as California's recall election demonstrates.

"Many QAnon believers think California is majority Republican," Dowd explains. "In the weeks after the 2020 presidential election, QAnon discourse was full of baseless assertions that Trump won California; in reality, Biden received 11 million votes to Trump's 6 million."

According to Media Matters reporter Alex Kaplan, the California gubernatorial candidates who have "expressed some level of support for the QAnon conspiracy theory" include Rhonda Furin (a Republican), Jaim Harlow (an independent), Sarah Stephens (a Republican) and Nickolas Wildstar (a Republican). Furin has used the QAnon slogan "Where we go one, we go all," and Harlow has tweeted that "Q + Anons have" brought "the factual truth to light." Stephens has posted photos of herself alongside QAnon supporters and posted the WWG1WGA slogan, and Wildstar has repeated QAnon's "Great Awakening" rhetoric.

Recently on Telegram, John Sabal, a.k.a. QAnon John — who Dowd describes as a "QAnon influencer" — posted, ""DETHRONING Newsom is THE catalyst for the MAIN EVENT."

QAnon members have been claiming that if Newsom prevails in the recall election, it will be because of widespread voter fraud — and Elder is more than happy to promote that nonsense.

During an interview with NBC News' Jacob Soboroff, Elder made it clear that he won't accept the election results if he loses:

Dowd reports, "Trying to invalidate a Newsom victory before results even roll in isn't just happening on the fringes…. Republican recall frontrunner Larry Elder has ramped up talk of a 'rigged' election in the last week, coinciding with polls turning decidedly in favor of Newsom keeping his job. On Elder's website, there's a prominent button on the homepage that says 'STOP FRAUD' that takes you to a site where you can self-submit alleged instances of voter fraud. The site also has a red button asking for donations."

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