Self-funding conspiracy theorist Marjorie Greene took first place in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District on Tuesday. Greene was taking 41% of the vote as of the following afternoon, which was just a bit below the majority she needed to avoid a second round of voting in August, while neurosurgeon John Cowan was outpacing former state School Superintendent John Barge 20-9 for second; Greene and Cowan will face off in the runoff to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Graves in this 75-22 Trump seat in the northeast corner of the state.
Greene has repeatedly used social media to spread far-right lies about the 2017 Las Vegas massacre as well as defend the notorious pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon. Among other things, Greene has encouraged her followers to send her any questions about QAnon so she could “walk you through the whole thing.” Longtime white supremacist Chester Doles also called Greene “part of the Q movement” and a “[g]ood friend to have” in a Facebook post.
Greene herself posed for a photo with Doles earlier this year, and she was not remotely contrite when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked her about it. Greene’s campaign instead dismissed the AJC’s questions as “silly and the same type of sleazy attacks the Fake News Media levels against President Trump.”
Greene’s own campaign ads have been just as awful. In one recent commercial, she appeared holding an assault rifle and told the audience that "antifa terrorists have declared war on America." She then casually threw out some antisemitic talking points by declaring, "George Soros, Hollywood elites, and Joe Biden's staff are funding antifa." Facebook later removed the ad from its platform, saying it “advocates the use of deadly weapons against a clearly defined group of people.”
Cowan, who has run his own commercials going after Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and firing his rifle at a plastic virus model labeled "COVID-19," is hardly a moderate, though. But while Cowan may not win many votes over the next two months going after Greene’s ugly beliefs, he may be able to gain ground by highlighting her weak ties to northeast Georgia.
Greene was living and running in the 6th Congressional District, a suburban Atlanta district that's very different from this rural constituency, until just after Graves retired in December. At the time, Greene was based in Alpharetta, which is located about 20 miles from the nearest community in the 14th District.
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