QAnon Leader Ron Watkins Surpasses Signatures Needed For Arizona Ballot

Ron Watkins, a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy movement, has made it onto the ballot to contest the Republican nomination for Arizona's second congressional district.

Watkins managed to gather 1,741 signatures that will see his name on the ballot, according to the Phoenix New Times. The QAnon influencer needed more than 1,400 to achieve his goal.

In a video, uploaded to his Telegram channel on Tuesday, Watkins claims he was the first person to be certified on the ballot in the state's second district.

Watkins said: "I just got confirmation from Arizona's Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, that I am the first congressional candidate certified for the 2022 ballot in Arizona's congressional district number two."

He will now go up against several other Republican challengers, all of whom are hoping to unseat Democrat Tom O'Halleran in the recently redrawn congressional district.

While Watkins is on the ballot, his campaign finance report shows he trails Rep. O'Halleran by a significant margin in money raised, having accumulated $30,588 in individual donations by the end of December, according to the Federal Election Commission.

In comparison, O'Halleran is listed as having raised $1.5 million in individual donations by the end of 2021.

Newsweek has contacted the Arizona of secretary of state and Watkins for comment.

Watkins is a major QAnon figure and has been accused of at one point being in control of the "Q" account that sparked the online conspiracy movement, although he has denied this claim.

The now-Republican candidate and his father helped run imageboard 8Chan—now known as 8Kun—a website that popularized QAnon and pushed it further into the mainstream.

Through the website, the "Q" account posted numerous information "drops," which QAnon followers attempted to decode.

The Republican candidate has also shared several conspiracy theories on his Telegram channel, including that the 2020 Presidential Election was somehow stolen from then-President Donald Trump.

Watkins has also capitalized on other Republican talking points, voicing concern against "Big Tech" and critical race theory.

In 2021, Watkins compared himself to civil rights icon Rosa Parks at a QAnon conference in Last Vegas.

There he took aim at cancel culture and companies, such as Facebook, which removed QAnon accounts from their platforms.

In January, Watkins hit out against "communist creeps" during a Scottsdale Unified School District meeting.

There Watkins, who has no children, claimed school boards had taken away parental rights "by teaching our children can be vaccinated without consent."

Scottsdale Unified School District went on to dispute many of Watkins' assertions and denied vaccinations were required for school enrollment and that pupils were being taught critical race theory.

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A Q-Anon sign is seen as supporters of President Donald Trump hold a rally in Washington, D.C. on January 5, 2021. Major QAnon influencer Ron Watkins will be on the ballot to contest the Republican nomination for Arizona's second congressional district. Getty