Two House Republicans who have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory are returning to Washington.
U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) beat out their Democratic opponents in November’s midterm elections — although Boebert’s race was much tighter than anticipated.
Both will be sworn into office this week ― or whenever the House elects a speaker.
Their fellow QAnon-linked candidates on ballots across the country didn’t fare as well in November’s elections. Twenty-seven candidates for Congress, governor or secretary of state with links to the conspiracy movement were defeated.
HuffPost used extensive research by Media Matters, the liberal media watchdog group, for its tally of QAnon-linked candidates. Of the 29 candidates in this tally, 23 are Republicans, five are independents, and one is a Democrat.
Although few in this QAnon caucus were victorious, the presence of so many of these candidates on the ballot is still a five-alarm fire for American democracy.
The QAnon conspiracy theory is an anti-democratic, authoritarian fantasy that imagines a “globalist” or “deep state” cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles — many prominent Democrats among them — who will soon be arrested en masse, and possibly executed, by former President Donald Trump.
During his presidency Trump more than played footsie with QAnon supporters, repeatedly refusing to denounce the movement. Since leaving the White House, however, Trump has openly embraced QAnon, often sharing the movement’s memes on Truth Social.
Meanwhile Boebert and Greene, who were first elected in 2020 after expressing support for QAnon, and who went on to be two of Trump’s most sycophantic supporters in Congress, have publicly traded blows over who should be the next Speaker of the House.
At a Turning Point USA conference in Phoenix, Boebert lashed out at Greene for supporting current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) for speaker.
“I’ve been aligned with Marjorie and accused of believing a lot of the things that she believes in,” Boebert said. “I don’t believe in this just like I don’t believe in ... Jewish space lasers,” she added, referring to one of Greene’s most widely-mocked statements.
Greene responded by accusing Boebert of stirring up “high school drama” in the House, and noting that Boebert barely won reelection.
“I’ve supported and donated to Lauren Boebert. President Trump has supported and donated to Lauren Boebert. Kevin McCarthy has supported and donated to Lauren Boebert. She just barely came through by 500 votes,” Greene tweeted.
Boebert won reelection in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District after a recount, earning only 50.06% of the vote. Polls had initially predicted that she’d trounce her Democratic opponent Adam Frisch.
Boebert has appeared on multiple QAnon shows and podcasts, including a 2020 episode in which she was asked if she was familiar with “the Q movement.” Boebert responded that she was “very familiar” and added that she hoped the QAnon prophecy was true because “it only means America is getting stronger and better.”
After backlash, Boebert later claimed that she was not part of the movement, but added that QAnon can mean “lot of different things to different people.”
Greene, who represents Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, comfortably won reelection in November. She repeatedly promoted QAnon on social media before first being elected to office in 2020. She also once posted a video in which she gushed about “Q,” the anonymous poster on 4Chan and other online forums who claims to have high-level security clearance in the government, and who routinely posted cryptic prophecies about when Trump would commence the “storm” and vanquish his enemies.
Greene called Q a “patriot” and “worth listening to.”
She later also attempted to distance herself from the QAnon conspiracy movement, telling Fox News that Q had led her astray with “misinformation” about the 2018 midterm elections.
She has nevertheless found herself in a position to extract promises from Republican leadership in the House.
Multiple outlets have reported that Greene — who, beyond promoting QAnon, was the featured speaker at a white supremacist conference earlier this year — was being considered for congressional leadership positions in the new House.
This is the likely explanation for her public support of McCarthy, who is considering Greene for a coveted position on the House Oversight Committee, according to Axios. Greene has also reportedly received a promise from Republican leadership that they would launch an investigation into the federal government’s treatment of defendants jailed for their alleged role with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Elsewhere across the country QAnon-linked candidates came close to winning a handful of races but were ultimately defeated.
Jim Marchant lost his race for Nevada secretary of state by less than 25,000 votes out of over a million votes cast. Marchant follows QAnon accounts on social media and appeared at a QAnon conference in Las Vegas.
J.R. Majewski, the GOP nominee to represent Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, was defeated by incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D), losing by 13 percentage points.
Majewski — a Trump-endorsed candidate who attended the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection — once appeared on Fox News wearing a QAnon T-shirt and has made Q-related posts on social media. He also once said, “I believe in everything that’s been put out from Q.” He added that he found the conspiracy theory “very mind opening.”
In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, the election-denying Republican nominee for governor, lost his race against Democrat Josh Shapiro.
Mastriano promoted QAnon at least 50 times on Twitter and has allied himself with multiple QAnon believers. In April, he attended an event hosted by QAnoners in Gettysburg, where the hosts gifted him with a long sword.
Had he been been elected, Mastriano would have picked the secretary of state, a position that controls Pennsylvania’s electoral process during the 2024 presidential election, raising fears he could have refused to certify a Republican defeat and caused a constitutional crisis.
Pennsylvania is unique in having its governor select the secretary of state. Most states hold an election for the position.
Four QAnon-linked candidates for secretary of state posts, including Marchant in Nevada, were on ballots across the country. All of them — including independent Terpsehore Tore Maras in Ohio, Republican Kristina Karamo in Michigan and Republican Mark Finchem in Arizona — lost their races.