The man who many suspect of being the originator of the QAnon conspiracy theory got trounced in the primary race for Arizona, Business Insider reports.
Ron Watkins was looking to unseat Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District but couldn’t get past fellow Republican candidate Eli Crane. Watkins is in last place among seven other Republicans after only receiving 3,000 votes. Insider says 72 percent of the results have been reported.
Watkins’ campaign failed to gain much support outside his online following. The campaign had trouble raising funds, and Watkins was accused of lacking charisma and having an all-round awkward personality when making public appearances. After being suspended by Twitter, Watkins took to the app Telegram and spread baseless conspiracy theories to his followers.
From Business Insider:
Many extremism researchers believe that Watkins was central to the creation of the far-right QAnon movement, along with help from his father Jim Watkins who founded the website 8kun (formerly 8chan), which hosts messages from the conspiracy’s anonymous leader “Q.” Central to the baseless conspiracy is the belief that Trump has a plan to stop a deep-state network of satanic pedophiles who secretly run the world, though Watkins failed to secure Trump’s endorsement.
Watkins has repeatedly denied he is behind QAnon or that he is “Q.”