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Candidate who embraces QAnon endorses Loeffler for Senate

Ben Nadler
Associated Press

Dallas, Ga. – Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia enthusiastically accepted an endorsement Thursday from Marjorie Taylor Greene, a congressional candidate who embraced QAnon conspiracy theories and espoused racist views in a series of online videos.

Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, right, introduces Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., left, during a news conference on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Dallas, Ga.

Loeffler and Greene made the announcement together at a rented open-air pavilion in a public park on the outskirts of metro Atlanta, where suburbs begin to give way to rural farmland.

Greene said she’s backing Loeffler because “she believes a lot of the same things that I believe.”

The endorsement highlights Loeffler’s embrace of far-right politics as she tries to fend off a challenge from Republican Rep. Doug Collins, a four-term congressman who is one of President Donald Trump’s most visible defenders in Congress.

Collins is among 20 challengers seeking to knock Loeffler from the U.S. Senate seat she was appointed to less than a year ago by Georgia’s governor.

The top Democrat in the race is Raphael Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

Loeffler, who was appointed in part to help Republicans in Georgia appeal to moderate suburban voters, has been battling it out with Collins in a race to the right as both seek a spot in a Jan. 5 runoff that is seen as likely. A runoff between the top two candidates is required in Georgia if no one gets more than 50% of votes on Nov. 3.

Greene is a business woman and political newcomer who has shown support for QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that Trump is secretly fighting enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

In a series of videos Greene has also alleged an “Islamic invasion” of government offices, claimed Black and Hispanic men are held back by “gangs and dealing drugs,” and accused billionaire philanthropist George Soros of collaborating with the Nazis.

More recently, she has attacked the Black Lives Matter movement and the use of masks to protect against the coronavirus.

Greene is running essentially unopposed in northwest Georgia’s heavily conservative 14th Congressional District after Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal dropped out of the race, saying he was leaving the state entirely.

It was not the first time that Loeffler and Greene have attended an event together. Both attended a pro-Second Amendment rally in the northwest Georgia town of Ringgold in September, flanked by men wearing body armor and carrying rifles.

Voting is already underway in Georgia. In-person early voting began Monday, and absentee ballots started going out to voters in late September.