It’s primary season, but there was a special election in Texas on Tuesday in which Republican Mayra Flores beat Democrat Dan Sanchez to secure a place in Congress. The result is significant as the state’s 34th district was blue, with Democrat Filemon Vega retiring this year to force the special election to complete the remainder of his term. Flores’ victory in South Texas is another sign the party is losing ground with the state’s Hispanic population.
It’s also significant because Flores promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, which argues that the United States is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who would – or always will – be brought to justice by Donald Trump. Media Matters points out that Flores frequently adds “#Q” and “#QAnon” to his social media posts, as well as “#wwg1wga,” short for “Where We Go One, We Go All,” a QAnon tagline.
Flores denied believing in QAnon, telling the San Antonio Express-News that she has “always been against all of this”.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the most prominent QAnon supporter currently in Congress, made similar denials. Her 2020 win was alarming given the litany of outlandish conspiracy theories she’s pushed in the past, from the idea that 9/11 was staged, to the idea that the California wildfires were triggered deliberately by Jews, to several theories revolving around democrats and pedophilia. These kinds of ridiculous and unfounded claims have since made their way into mainstream conservatism, and it’s no longer shocking to Republican candidates for Congress to have pushed a number of unfounded conspiracy theories — including, of course, that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
There’s no evidence that Flores has expressed any of these views, but it’s concerning nonetheless that she doesn’t seem to have a problem aligning herself with QAnon. His decision to do so is another reminder that the conspiracy theory and all its tendrils don’t just flourish on the fringes. QAnon followers are now a key demographic that many Republicans feel they should woo as they vie for a seat in Congress. Flores will still have to win the general election in November to retain the seat beyond the rest of Vega’s term, but for now, at least, conspiracy theorists can rest easy knowing they have one more ally. in Washington.