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These 2020 Election Deniers Are Running For Office In Arizona

A major QAnon supporter is on the ballot in Arizona on Tuesday. He isn’t the only election denier who could grab a nomination.


Ron Watkins: President Trump had his election stolen. Not just in Arizona, but in other states, too. We must now take this fight to Washington, D.C., and vote out all the dirty Democrats who have stolen our republic.

Kaleigh Rogers: That’s Ron Watkins, the former administrator of an online message board where Q — the shadowy figure behind QAnon — posted many of his missives. Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory think that Democrats and Hollywood elites are part of an underground, Satanic pedophile ring, and Watkins himself is widely believed to be one of the people behind the Q account. Now, he’s running for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Watkin’s chances in Arizona are … slim. But he’s not the only candidate in the state who is both an election denier and a QAnon supporter. FiveThirtyEight and ABC News have been tracking candidates running in the primaries who have questioned the results of the 2020 election. While election deniers are running in multiple states on Aug. 2, we’re going to focus on Arizona today because there’s a lot to cover in the Copper State.

The Republican primary for governor in Arizona is heating up, with former TV anchor Kari Lake and former state Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson as close front-runners. While Robson has refused to share her thoughts on the 2020 election, Lake has repeatedly claimed it was stolen. Here’s Lake at a recent debate:

Interviewer: You’ve called Joe Biden an “illegitimate president.” What does that mean?

Kari Lake: He lost the election and he shouldn’t be in the White House. We had a corrupt election.

Lake also has ties to QAnon. She invited a QAnon follower to speak at a campaign event last October. And she’s been photographed with none other than Ron Watkins.

In the Republican race for secretary of state, Trump-endorsed state Rep. Mark Finchem was deeply involved in the “Stop the Steal” movement, and is also a QAnon supporter. And then there’s state Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who sponsored a bill that would have allowed the state legislature to overturn election results.

Remember, Arizona was the target of a lot of Trump’s election fraud claims. State Republicans there even launched a partisan audit of the results in search of evidence of fraud. In the end, that audit found that Biden had actually won by even more votes than initially believed.

Kaleigh Rogers is FiveThirtyEight’s technology and politics reporter.

Nash Consing is FiveThirtyEight’s video production assistant.


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