QAnon United States
Andrea Austria / Media Matters

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Here are the QAnon supporters running for governor in 2021 and 2022

Update (last updated 6/29/22): This article has been repeatedly updated with additional candidates, election results, and additional details.

Multiple people who have expressed some level of support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which got its start on far-right message boards, are running for governorships throughout the country in 2021 and 2022.

The QAnon conspiracy theory revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q,” who claimed to have an inside scoop showing former President Donald Trump had a secret plot that would take down his perceived enemies, the “deep state,” and a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. Some supporters of QAnon have been tied to violent incidents and participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, and government agencies have issued internal warnings over the false conspiracy theory.

Now, multiple people who have given some level of credence or support to the conspiracy theory are running for gubernatorial seats throughout the country. In addition, there are numerous 2022 congressional candidates who have expressed some level of support for the conspiracy theory, and there are multiple candidates seeking to run state elections who have supported the conspiracy theory or appealed to its supporters.

Among these 11 current or former candidates who have previously endorsed or given credence at some level to the conspiracy theory or promoted QAnon content:

  • Four ran in California’s 2021 recall election.
  • So far, one candidate, in Pennsylvania, has secured a spot on the 2022 general election ballot.
  • Ten ran or are running as Republicans, and one ran as an independent.

Below are the 2021 and 2022 gubernatorial candidates who previously endorsed or gave credence to the conspiracy theory or promoted QAnon content, organized by state and then by last name in alphabetical order.

  • Alabama

  • Dean Odle (lost primary)

    Dean Odle was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of Alabama in 2022. He was defeated in the primary on May 24. Odle hosts a show where he has previously discussed a 2018 Q post. As shown in the screenshots posted by local Alabama site Bama Politics, Odle has posted on Facebook about that episode of his show, along with posting about the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory. On Twitter, he tweeted about former national security adviser Michael Flynn taking a QAnon oath and “liked” a tweet in response saying Flynn’s oath “confirms Q.” He also responded to a person by saying that he counted the number of fingers people in the Flynn video held up at the end, writing: “finger count 17=Q.” (Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet.)

  • Video file

    Citation From an April 16, 2020, episode of Dean Odle‘s Prophecy Quake uploaded to Bitchute 

  • Arizona

  • Bryan Masche

    Bryan Masche is a Republican candidate running for governor of Arizona in 2022. He has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon slogan, “where we go one, we go all” (or “WWG1WGA” for short), along with posting the slogan on Facebook. In 2020, Masche spoke with a co-host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast who asked him, “You tweeted, ‘Where we go one, we go all,’ right?” Masche responded: “Where we go one, we go all. If you want to say, ‘Oh, he’s a QAnon, he’s a’ -- well, I am. So there you go, all right? If that’s the hit piece that people want to hear, let them hear it, you know? I believe it.”

  • Bryan Masche endorsing QAnon

    Bryan Masche endorsing QAnon
    Audio file

    Citation From the November 12, 2020, edition of the QAnon Anonymous podcast

  • California

  • Rhonda Furin (lost election)

    Rhonda Furin was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of California in the state’s 2021 recall election. She was defeated in the election on September 14. She had unsuccessfully run for Congress in California’s 45th Congressional District in 2020. Furin has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon slogan, along with posting it on both her congressional campaign and personal Facebook pages. She told The Sacramento Bee, “I read QAnon as did most people and I also read through many of the FBI Vault releases & Wikileaks as they came out. I prefer to be well informed when I report on anything or respond to an issue. I would not say I am a member of any certain group, other than School Choice, as I follow and read up on all sides and make my decision based on facts and not hearsay or media lies.”

  • Rhonda Furin QAnon Twitter governor
  • Jaim Harlow (lost election)

    Jaim Harlow was an independent write-in candidate who ran for governor of California in the state’s 2021 recall election. He was defeated in the election on September 14. He has repeatedly pushed the false claim that “there is no ‘QAnon,’” echoing a Q post urging supporters to deny that QAnon exists. Harlow has used a line often invoked by QAnon supporters, writing, “Q -’ll shit bricks when you find out...they have everything… Nothing can stop what’s coming, nothing.” He has also tweeted that “Q + Anons have” brought “the factual truth to light” and tweeted about “Q+,” which is what QAnon supporters call Trump. He has additionally pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

  • Jaim Harlow QAnon Twitter
  • Sarah Stephens (lost election)

    Sarah Stephens was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of California in the state’s 2021 recall election. She was defeated in the election on September 14. On Instagram, Stephens has posted the QAnon slogan alongside a photo of herself with people wearing shirts with the slogan. (She also posted the hashtag #saveourchidren, which has been co-opted by QAnon supporters.)

  • Sarah Stephens QAnon Instagram
  • Nickolas Wildstar (lost 2021 recall election, ran again in 2022 but suspended campaign)

    Nickolas Wildstar was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of California in the state’s 2021 recall election. He was defeated in the election on September 14. He ran again for governor in the state in 2022, but later suspended his campaign to instead run for city council in Fresno. He has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon hashtag and the QAnon slogan. Wildstar told The Sacramento Bee, “I’m honored to be a pioneer of this great awakening and am happy to call anyone that lends a hand in that effort an ally; however I do not consider myself to be a card carrying Q Anon member.”

  • Nickolas Wildstar QAnon Twitter
  • Maryland

  • Dan Cox

    Dan Cox is a Republican candidate and member of the Maryland House of Delegates running for governor of Maryland in 2022. He has tweeted the QAnon slogan; he later claimed about the tweet, “I support President Trump and General Flynn and that’s all my point was about.”

  • Dan Cox QAnon Twitter
  • Massachusetts

  • Shiva Ayyadurai

    Shiva Ayyadurai is a Republican candidate running for governor of Massachusetts in 2022. In 2018, during his ultimately unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate seat, Ayyadurai tweeted a misspelled version of the QAnon slogan on his since-suspended Twitter account and retweeted a post containing the QAnon slogan.

  • Shiva Ayyadurai QAnon Twitter
  • Michigan

  • Donna Brandenburg (disqualified from primary)

    Donna Brandenburg was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of Michigan in 2022. She was disqualified from the primary along with four other GOP gubernatorial candidates “whose nominating petitions to qualify for the ballot were riddled with fraudulent signatures.” On her blog, she has written the QAnon slogan. She has also appeared on an online show co-hosted by Jim Watkins — a QAnon supporter who owns the site 8kun, where Q has been based — and by Dee Stevens, also a QAnon supporter. During the interview, Brandenburg said that “17 is my favorite number” — referring to Q, which is the 17th letter of the alphabet — to which Stevens then gave a thumbs-up, and Brandenburg gave a thumbs-up back.

  • Video file

    Citation From the November 23, 2021, edition of the Ahoy! The Ship Show

  • New York

  • Derrick Gibson (disqualified from primary)

    Derrick Gibson was a Republican candidate who ran for governor of New York in 2022 and was disqualified from the primary. In response to criticism of QAnon, he has tweeted, “They know q exposing their wick ways and want to crush the movement,” and has written, “QAnon is just fine, anyone exposing abuse of our kids are my hero.” Gibson has also claimed that he is a member of the far-right gang the Proud Boys.

  • Derrick Gibson QAnon Twitter
  • Pennsylvania

  • Doug Mastriano (won primary)

    Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano is a Republican candidate running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022. He won the primary on May 17. Mastriano has tweeted the QAnon slogan and has repeatedly tweeted the QAnon hashtag, as well as the conspiracy theory-related hashtag “#TheGreatAwakening.” Mastriano has also appeared on multiple QAnon-supporting shows. Before Mastriano launched his campaign, Nevada secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant mentioned trying to recruit Mastriano to run for governor — part of a broader QAnon-connected effort to recruit and elect candidates who could play a role in elections. In Pennsylvania, the governor appoints the secretary of state, the state’s chief election official. A spokesperson for Mastriano has claimed that Mastriano “strongly condemns the ‘Q anon’ conspiracy theory.”

  • Doug Mastriano QAnon Twitter