In a boring, ham-handed video, QAnon idol announces a congressional run in Arizona


Watkins claims he will “double down with God as my compass to take this fight to the swamp of Washington D.C.,” adding: “I am here to formally announce my run for Congress in Arizona. Under God’s authority, we will take back Congress, flip the Senate and fix the presidency.”

Watkins says he will be taking on incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who the QAnon fanatic histrionically describes as, “the dirtiest Democrat in the D.C. swamp,” calling him “O’Hooligan.” 

If you don’t know who Tom O’Halleran is, here are a few things he’s done for his district in the last few months: He recently secured oxygen tanks and other necessary supplies for a Korean War veteran, signed a bill to save telehealth for rural Arizonans after COVID-19, passed a bill to fund a pay raise for service members, and saved Arizonans over $3.5 million since his tenure began in 2017, to name a few. 

Watkins says he’s taking his cues from God and Pastor Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church. 

If you don’t know who Durbin is, here are a few things about him: The 38-year-old pastor, located in Tempe, Arizona, believes that abortion is “worse than the Holocaust.”

“We consider abortion to be the modern-day Holocaust, although I believe it is a bit of an insult to Hitler to compare what he did in Nazi Germany to what we have before us.

‘If you take a body count of Hitler’s Germany to what we’ve had since Roe v Wade, we beat him by the metric tonne,” Durbin said, according to Metro UK

Durbin, like practically all pro-lifers, doesn’t believe in the life of the mother, just the unborn. He believes women who have abortions should be murdered. 

“Whether it’s a mother who kills her child in the womb or a mother who kills her five-year-old twins by drowning them in the bathtub, we would want it to be treated as a murder charge, and for that to be applied consistently under the law. 

“I believe that a just answer to murder is the death penalty. Historically that’s the standard we held to for a long time, and ultimately when God has spoken to the issue of justice for murder, he says it’s a life for a life.”

Watkins filed a “statement of intent” with the Arizona secretary of state to run for the congressional seat, as NPR reporter Dillon Rosenblatt first reported

Watkins confirmed in an email to VICE News that he was running, but would first need to become a resident of the state. He was in the state this week rubbing shoulders and taking photos with Republicans such as Kari Lake, who President Donald Trump has endorsed for Arizona governor. And VICE reports Watkins is heading to Las Vegas to speak at a QAnon-affiliated event with Rep. Mark Finchem, who’s running for secretary of state. 

Although Watkins denies he’s the Q in QAnon, he sort of outed himself in the last episode of Cullen Hoback’s HBO documentary Q: Into the Storm. In talking about his newfound celebrity in dispersing an ocean of unfounded allegations about the theft of Trump’s election, he said: “It was basically three years of intelligence training, teaching normies how to do intelligence work. It was basically what I was doing anonymously before.“ Realizing his gaffe, he steps it back lightning-fast, saying, “Never as Q. I promise.”

So why the run? And why in Arizona? Watkins tells Salon he spent time in Arizona when he was a kid and his father was in the Army. Also, he’s been deeply involved in an election “audit” in Maricopa County over Trump’s loss. 

“Ron’s main issue is election integrity, he’s real big on election integrity,” Tony Teora, a volunteer helping Watkins prep his campaign, told Salon

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