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Texas Rep. Mayra Flores will be latest member of Congress to have publicly referenced QAnon slogans, watchdog group says

Jun 17, 2022, 02:19 IST
Business Insider
Rep.-elect Mayra Flores campaigns for Congress in Harlingen, Texas, in September 2021.AP Photo/Eric Gay
  • Rep.-elect Mayra Flores on Tuesday won a special election in Texas to join Congress.
  • Flores flipped the district blue and will serve in the seat until January next year.

Rep.-elect Mayra Flores on Tuesday won a special election in Texas to join the US House of Representatives, becoming the latest GOP candidate to reference the QAnon theory before joining Congress.

Flores was one of several candidates tracked by the media watchdog Media Matters for America, which found multiple instances of her referencing the QAnon conspiracy theory movement on social media.

QAnon is the far-right conspiracy movement centered around the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump is fighting a "deep state" cabal of human traffickers and Satan-worshiping pedophile elites who secretly run the world.

Media Matters, the media watchdog, cataloged several social-media posts in which Flores used hashtags related to QAnon, including #q, #qanon, and #wwg1wga, the shorthand for the movement's slogan "Where we go one, we go all."

In an advertisement Flores took out on Facebook in April 2020 that said the "Democrat Party has failed us," she used the QAnon related hashtags, according to a screenshot of the ad preserved by Media Matters.


She also used QAnon hashtags on other social-media posts she made on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, according to Media Matters, but those posts appear to have been deleted.

Despite using such hashtags on social media, Flores earlier this year in an interview with the San Antonio Express News distanced herself from the movement.

"I've always been against any of that. I've never been supportive of it," she told the outlet.

Flores' posts used numerous other hashtags associated with other popular conservative movements, including #buildthewall, #trumptrain, and #makeamericagreatagain.

In the same interview with the Express News, Flores declined to say whether she believed that former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election due to widespread voter fraud, a baseless claim often repeated by the former president and his most ardent followers.


Instead, she made generalized claims there was voter fraud in Texas. "I'm speaking just in general. There is voter fraud," she told the outlet. Former President Donald Trump won the state of Texas in the 2020 election by about six points.

Flores on Tuesday won the special election with 51% of the vote, avoiding a runoff election and allowing her to serve in Congress for the remaining months of former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela's term, which ends in January. Vela resigned from Congress in March to join a law and lobbying firm in Washington.

"This historic win will bring back God to the halls of Congress!" Flores wrote in a post to Instagram following her win.

She earlier this year won her party's primary to appear on the ballot in November to represent the newly redrawn 34th district, which is more favorable to Democrats than the current district, CNN reported.

Flores immigrated to the US from Tamaulipas, Mexico when she was six years old, making her the first member of Congress to be born in Mexico. Flores worked as a respiratory care practitioner and as the Hispanic Outreach chair for the Hidalgo County GOP, becoming involved with the Republican Party about five years ago, according to a report from Politico.


The current district has long been blue but has been inching closer to voting Republican, Politico reported. President Joe Biden won the district by four points in 2020, though Trump lost the district by more than 20 points in 2016. Former President Barack Obama also won the district by over 20 points in 2012, according to Politico.

Flores is the latest member of Congress to win an election after publicly referencing the baseless conspiracy theories related to QAnon. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, both members of the Republican Party, referenced it prior to their elections.

Flores also received attention from Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO who recently entered a deal to purchase Twitter. Musk in a tweet claimed Flores was the first Republican he had voted for.

Flores did not return Insider's request for comment sent Thursday.

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