The QAnon conspiracy theory hinges on the delusion that a "Deep State" network of satanic, cannibal pedophiles secretly controls the United States government, and that former President Donald Trump was sent to expose them.
Before the mass conspiracy infected the halls of Congress and the mainstream Republican party, it first developed in the dark corners of the internet on sites like 4chan and 8chan, known for their lack of regulation where the likes of mass shooters post their manifestos.
An anonymous poster claiming to be a national security official with "Q level clearance," known as "Q," routinely published cryptic messages vague enough to encourage followers to see conspiracies and uncanny coincidences where there were none.
As the administrator of 8Chan, Watkins and his father Jim played key roles in amplifying QAnon. Some—like Cullen Hoback, who had unprecedented access to the Watkinses for his documentary on QAnon, Into the Storm—believe Ron Watkins himself was "Q."
Since resigning as 8chan administrator, Watkins has worked with conspiracy theorists like Mike Lindell to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
And on Friday, Watkins announced he is running for Congress in Maricopa County, the swing district that's been a major target of conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election.
Watch the bizarre video below.
After falsely claiming Trump had his election "stolen," Watkins said:
"I have decided to double down, with God as my compass, to take this fight to the swamp of Washington, D.C. I am here to formally announce my run for Congress in Arizona, District number one. Our fight has only just begun, and I can't do it alone."
People surmised that Watkins' charisma on the internet didn't carry over to political campaigning.
Though Watkins is only a recent Arizona resident in what's bound to be a crowded Republican primary, people still find his candidacy alarming.
The midterm elections are on November 8, 2022.