This QAnon influencer is fighting to put election-denying Republicans 'in charge of states' elections: report

This QAnon influencer is fighting to put election-denying Republicans 'in charge of states' elections: report
A QAnon flag in Richmond, Virginia in January 2020, Wikimedia Commons

In QAnon circles, some far-right conspiracy theorists believe that Juan O. Savin, a.k.a. Wayne Willott, is really John F. Kennedy Jr. — who was 38 when he was killed in a plane crash in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1999. Kennedy, according to their outlandish claim, faked his own death and is now a 61-year-old influencer in the far-right QAnon movement.

But Savin/Willott himself has never claimed to be President John F. Kennedy’s son. He has, however, promoted another bogus conspiracy theory: the Big Lie, falsely claiming that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump through widespread voter fraud. And Savin/Willott is the co-founder of the America First Secretary of State Coalition (AFSOSC), an organization that is trying to get fellow Big Lie promoters elected to secretary of state positions in the 2022 midterms. One of his candidates is Jim Marchant, Nevada’s Republican secretary of state nominee and AFSOSC’s other co-founder.

The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill examines the progress that Savin/Willott has made in an article published on October 25, noting that AFSOSC’s coal is “to place election-denying candidates in charge of states’ elections.”

READ MORE:This Big Lie-promoting conspiracy theorist could become Nevada’s top election official

“Just weeks out from the midterms,” Weill reports, “some AFSOS-backed candidates have remained in lockstep with Savin and his allies, even as other Republicans draw away from the QAnon-aligned figures. Secretaries of state help run elections and certify their states’ election results; following Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his 2020 loss, election deniers on the right have eyed secretary of state roles as a possible way to force Republican victories.”

Marchant, according to Weill, has said, “When I’m secretary of state of Nevada, we are going to fix it, and when my coalition of secretary of state candidates around the country get elected, we’re going to fix the whole country — and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024.”

Weill warns that Savin/Willott’s “partnership” with Marchant “is anything but small.”

“The AFSOSC site solicits donations through another Marchant-run group, Conservatives for Election Integrity,” Weill reports. “That PAC has raised more than $400,000 since the beginning of the year, recent finance filings show. One of CFEI’s largest donors is the America Project, a group co-founded by election deniers and Trump pals Michael Flynn and Patrick Byrne. CFEI has spent nearly $170,000 on a Las Vegas contractor that previously made headlines for recruiting Proud Boys to attend a rally outside a Nevada election center just days after the 2020 vote, OpenSecrets reported.”

QAnon followers are focused on 'a new project' in swing states

Weill continues, “Meanwhile, AFSOSC is backing candidates in multiple close races, in swing states where a partisan secretary of state could change the shape of future elections. Some of those candidates are active participants in events with Savin and other conspiracy theorists. The day after (an October 14) speech in Florida, Savin attended a ‘New Mexico Election Integrity Forum’ hosted by Lara Logan. Also in attendance, in person or virtually, were Marchant, New Mexico secretary of state candidate Audrey Trujillo, Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, and Michigan secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo. All are AFSOSC candidates who have peddled conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.”

The Beast reporter points out that some of Savin/Willett’s AFSOSC candidates are very competitive in their races.

“Marchant has consistently polled ahead of his Democratic opponent Cisco Aguilar,” Weill observes. “A survey from Arizona’s Family and HighGround in mid-October found Finchem polling one point ahead of the state’s Democratic candidate.”

READ MORE: Doug Mastriano shredded by Philly paper for 'chilling' plans to overturn future elections

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