New QAnon-Allied GOP Candidate Lauren Witzke Also Pushed Anti-Semitism, Flat Earthism, and 9/11 Conspiracies

New QAnon-Allied GOP Candidate Lauren Witzke Also Pushed Anti-Semitism, Flat Earthism, and 9/11 Conspiracies

One-time QAnon supporter Lauren Witzke won the Republican Senate primary in Delaware on Tuesday, campaigning on a pledge to institute a decade-long moratorium on all immigration and beating a rival candidate endorsed by the state GOP by nearly 14 percentage points. 

Witzke’s win marks the second time a fan of the dangerous pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory has won a GOP Senate nomination this cycle, although Witzke said in January that she no longer promotes QAnon. But while Witzke has been photographed wearing a QAnon T-shirt and has repeatedly posted QAnon hashtags on social media, even as she now claims not to believe in the theory, her connections to the right’s darkest internet fringes go far beyond QAnon. And she’s not particularly inclined to hide them either. 

With her victory still just hours old, the newest Republican Senate nominee publicly thanked a white nationalist leader who marched in the “Unite the Right” rally and has questioned the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.  

“Thank you, Nick!” Witzke tweeted in response to a tweet from Nick Fuentes, a Charlottesville participant who has become the face of the far-right angry, young white nationalist fringe.

It’s not just Fuentes with whom Witzke communicates. She also is regularly in contact with anti-Semitic and white nationalist figures in the “America First” faction of the pro-Trump right. Witzke has posted racist messages of her own on social media, calling Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) “third world” and “tards.”  

Witzke has also more or less endorsed the idea of Trump becoming a lifelong king of the United States, and said she believes that the earth is flat.

Witzke is unlikely to win her general election bid against Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). It’s not just that Coons’s campaign had $2.7 million cash on hand as of August, compared to the less than $30,000 that Witzke enjoys. It’s that Witzke’s candidacy makes Coons’ prior opponents, including Christine O’Donnell—who once quipped that she had “dabbled” in witchcraft—look downright mainstream. 

Witzke’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. Neither did the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign wing for the Senate GOP. But the story of how Witzke went in just a few years from being a drug-dealing heroin addict to a QAnon-believing, racism-spewing, Flat Earth-believing nominee for federal office illustrates both the tumultuous politics of 2020 and the conspiracy theories and racist beliefs gaining traction in the GOP. 



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