Ron Watkins, a central figure in the conspiracy movement QAnon currently running for Congress in Arizona as a Republican, said he had granted a loan of $ 95,000 to his campaign on 29 March. The loan Watkins intervened only four days after his campaign has modified a campaign finance report to include more than $ 20,000 of funds it had not disclosed to the original, and one day after the Commission Federal election has sent a letter asking Watkins to disclose the source of the funds before May 2
QAnon is a theory of alt-right conspiracy that started on 4chan forums. The theory, which draws other debunked conspiracy theories such as “Pizzagate” and has been linked to the kidnapping plan and insurgency January 6 Forensic linguists teams found that Watkins was instrumental in helping write messages 8kun “Q”, an anonymous poster who claimed to be a high-ranking government official with insider knowledge of former White House of President Donald Trump, starting in 2018.
In October 2021, Watkins ran for the Arizona 1st Congressional District, which is currently represented by Rep. Tom O’halleran (D-Ariz.), but later changed his candidacy to run in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district after new congressional maps were approved in the state. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona), who currently represents the 2nd District, announced her retirement ahead of this year’s redistricting.
The political report of Cook class district as “likely Republican” despite his Democratic incumbent.
Watkins’ campaign finance
Watkins raised $83,000 between January and March 2022, about $20,000 less than the campaign reported as operating expenses, according to FEC filings. The campaign ended the first quarter of 2022 with $100,257 in cash – all but about $5,000 came from Watkins’ personal loan.
The Watkins campaign fundraiser remains far behind other contenders for the congressional seat in Arizona’s 2nd district. O’Halleran raised $578,000 in the first quarter, and ended March with $1.7 million in cash on hand. Republican candidate and former Navy SEAL Eli Crane raised $647,000 during the quarter and has $483,000 in cash.
Apart from the loan, the largest contribution to the Watkins declared campaign in the first quarter 2022 was $ 3127 Rumen Naumovski. Naumovski is the founder of the marketing company Raww Digital and Resist the Mainstream, which describes itself as “a media company for people who have lost confidence in the mainstream media.”
Other contributions to the Watkins campaign include $ 2222 of Jeffrey Walker, the founder of a cleaning company in Arizona pool, and $ 1 000 Avery Kramer, who recently became the Chief Operating Officer of biotechnology research company Symbrosia.
Only 11 of the roughly 70 campaign contributions in the first quarter of 2022, including contributions from Watkins and Walker, come from donors with addresses in Arizona. The campaign relied primarily on out-of-state funds and attracted just three donors from Arizona in 2021.
Watkins’ campaign paid Business Network PIN more than $5,000 for an “e-mail explosion” in January. PIN founder and former CEO Joe Oltmann has been described as “influential in stoking claims of election conspiracy” and was nominated by Colorado Republicans as their gubernatorial candidate earlier this month. He declined the nomination after endorsing two election opponents, state Rep. Ron Hanks and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, for statewide offices.
Peters, who was recently indicted as election tampering felons, is running for Colorado secretary of state. Hanks has praised his participation in the uprising on January 6 to show his loyalty to Trump.
In February, Watkins’ campaign made a $500 contribution to Citizens for Gail Golec, the political action committee of Maricopa County Supervisory Board nominee Gail Golec. Golec is a noted conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed citizen journalist who gave up her job as a realtor to investigate election fraud full-time.
Watkins’ father, Jim Watkins, best known for operating 8kun and supporting QAnon, donated $2,354 to the campaign described as “T-shirts” in October 2021.
The Watkins campaign said he received two separate contributions of cryptocurrency both in Bitcoin. Donations were held in November and December 2021, shortly after Watkins asked its 423,000 subscribers in the Telegram email application Bitcoin donate to the campaign.
Republican primary elections will be held in Arizona on August 2.