Fundraising abysmal for QAnon extremist running for Congress in Arizona

Fundraising abysmal for QAnon extremist running for Congress in Arizona

Far-right Republican conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins, a prominent figure in the QAnon movement, is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives via Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. But according to Daily Beast reporters Kelly Weill and Asawin Suebsaeng, the QAnon crowd isn’t coming through for him — Watkins’ fundraising is abysmal.

On the Beast’s “Fever Dreams” podcast, Weill told Suebsaeng, “His first campaign finance filing came in, and it seems to support the idea that not too many people want Mr. QAnon himself in Congress.”

QAnon members are MAGA Republicans who believe that the United States’ federal government has been hijacked by an international cabal of pedophiles, child sex traffickers, Satanists and cannibals and that Donald Trump was put in the White House in 2016 to fight the cabal. After Trump was voted out of office in 2020, QAnon members were among the extremists who attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 along with members of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and other groups.

In an article published by the Beast on February 2, Weill and Suebsaeng explain, “Ron Watkins, the former 8kun administrator and alleged QAnon mastermind, is running for Congress in Arizona. He’s hit the campaign fundraising trail with a grab bag of conspiracy theories and a small legion of internet followers.”

According to the Beast reporters, “Watkins’ first campaign finance filing shows approximately $33,000 raised.… with some of it coming in the form of a loan from his dad, 8kun operator Jim Watkins. That puts him well behind his GOP primary opponents, who’ve raised 10 to 20 times more than Watkins.”

Weill and Suebsaeng, however, stress that Watkins’ poor fundraising isn’t due to his far-right views, but rather, running an undisciplined campaign.

“At the end of the day, Watkins’ inability to catch fire with his campaign isn’t the result of Watkins being too extreme, per se,” Weill and Suebsaeng observe. “It’s that, unlike much of the Trump-dominated, mainstream GOP, he doesn’t have the bare shred of discipline necessary to lightly dress up that extremism.”

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