Right-wing and online conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins filed the necessary documents and on Thursday announced his intention to run for Congress in Arizona state in 2023.
Watkins, one of the many conservative D-List celebrities who thrived on the sidelines of MAGA throughout Trump’s presidency and subsequent downfall, is posing as some sort of hacker by the online moniker ” CodeMonkeyZ “. He is best known as the “old” Internet administrator Hellhole 8chan and his successor 8kun, the imageboard where three white supremacist mass shooters manifests published separately before killing at least 75 people, and the individual widely believed to be the eponymous “Q” of the QAnon movement.
Vice News Reports that Watkins recently spent time with Republican candidates for the Arizona office like Kari Lake and State Representative Mark Finchem and filed a Statement of Intent with the Arizona Secretary of State earlier this week, Vice reported. These documents do not constitute a formal declaration of candidacy and simply require Watkins to have claimed residency in the state, but authorize Watkins to begin collecting petitions to appear on the ballot. Watkins has targeted incumbent Democratic Representative Tom O’Halleran, whose term will end in 2023.
In a mortifying video uploaded to his channel on the Telegram messaging app, where Watkins has more than 400,000 subscribers, Watkins announced melodramatically: and the founding principles of our nation, he will crumble. It must stop now.
âTherefore, I decided to double up with God as a compass to lead this fight in the Washington DC swamps,â Watkins continued. “I’m here to officially announce my candidacy for Congress in Arizona’s Number One District.”
“I decided to expose the dirtiest Democrat in DC Swamp, and some of you here may already know him as Congressman Tom O’Halleran representing Maricopa County and District a, “Watkins told observers. âWhat we know publicly about Tom O’Hooligan shows that he is not fit to represent the people of Arizona. And from what I have already discovered and will exhibit. Tom is not fit to represent anyone anywhere. “
Watkins said during the video he was inspired by Pastor Jeff Durbin of Mesa, Arizona’s Apologia Church, who called for the execution of aborting women. Durbin once told a reporter it was “a bit of an insult to Hitler to compare what he did in Nazi Germany” to the pro-choice movement.
For those who have happily remained oblivious, QAnon is a sprawling movement right-wing extremists, racists and anti-Semites, and evangelical Christians who believed Donald Trump was fighting a Underground world-style war against a cabal of child rapists, the satanic democrats. This was fully cited in the consciousness-style message stream from “Q”, a pseudonymous 8chan user who claimed to be a senior military or intelligence official aiding Trump’s fight against the left-wing Illuminati. An HBO documentary, Q: In the storm, who investigated the links between Ron Watkins, his father Jim Watkins and QAnon concluded that the young Watkins was either Q or had used his administrative powers on the board to take control of the account at some point.
The show featured many disturbing segments where Watkins, who is well beyond the point of shame, appeared to threaten director Cullen Hoback with a mochi hammer, tried to force him to visit a brothel, and appeared in interviews at the sides of a life size evangelization doll (possibly a sex toy). He also has tried without success to convince Hoback that Q was former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. In one particularly disturbing scene, Watkins attempted to feign sympathy for the victims of the 2019 El Paso shooting, in which a racist gunman targeting Latinos killed 23 people and injured 23 others. Watkins told Hoback how American shoppers spending US dollars at an American store were killed by a man with a Russian gun.
Following Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, the Q account ceased to publish and Watkins claimed to have resigned as administrator of 8chan and attempted to rename himself as electoral fraud expert. After a swarm of Trump supporters and QAnon supporters embarked on conspiracy theories on January 6, a failed MAGA assault on the Capitol was banned, Twitter banned his CodeMonkeyZ account. Since then, Watkin has pivoted to various new identities such as ufologist and a cryptocurrency guru sell NFTs for $ 600 of his messages that Trump had retweeted. So running for Congress, or at least pretending to be doing it long enough to keep far-right eyes and portfolios pointed in its direction, seems like a natural progression in the crook life cycle.
According to Vice, Watkins filmed the announcement video outside the office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, where he has arrived three times in unsuccessful attempts to secure a meeting. While his candidacy can be generously described as a long shot, a victory in the race would make him QAnon’s most prominent associate to hold an elected post. Watkins is much more at the center of the movement than defending champion QAnon Alabama Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who since being elected last year has devoted most of his tenure to attention stunts like harass the trans child another representative or attempting and failing to start a white nationalist caucus.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article stated that âWatkins said during the video that he was inspired by his pastor, Jeff Durbin of Mesa, to lead the Apologia Church in Arizona. Durbin’s assistant contacted Gizmodo to state that Watkins is “NOT a member of the Apologia Church and Jeff is NOT its pastor.”