A Chicago-area candidate was called out as a QAnon cultist, but she insisted the conspiracy theories were just one portion of her information diet.
One of Kim Malay's opponents called the St. Charles alderman candidate "unfit" for office because she shared posts on Facebook promoting the right-wing conspiracy theory before November's presidential election, reported the Daily Herald.
"I believe in seeking the truth and Q talked about two things that matter to me -- human trafficking and protecting our country from foreign influence," Malay told the newspaper.
Malay shared one post Sept. 2 that showed an American flag emblazoned with a Q and the slogan "Trump 2020: Keep America Great" and another on Jan. 3 that showed the Gadsden flag with a rattlesnake coiled into a Q and the QAnon motto "Where We Go One We Go All" along with the "Don't Tread On Me" slogan.
"I don't think it's acceptable for someone who wants to hold public office to have those QAnon images," said Richard Artz, who's running against Malay in the April 6 election. "I know the 5th Ward deserves better. I think the people of St. Charles deserve an apology."
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have deemed the right-wing movement as a violent threat, but Malay sees the conspiratorial postings as one source of information among many as she does her research.
"I read postings from Q itself as well as many other sources to find information and seek the truth," Malay said. "I didn't follow the QAnons. I definitely don't condone any violence and racism, and those that know me know that is the case."
Malay serves on the St. Charles Historic Preservation Commission and previously worked in the city's Community Development Department, and she ran unsuccessfully for 5th Ward alderman in 2011 and 2013.
"She doesn't come across to me as that kind of person, so it would surprise me," said Steve Weber, who's running against Malay and Artz. "I have 2½ years of public service, I have a voting record, I've been to 240 public meetings in the past -- obviously everything I vote on and everything I say is on record."
Malay condemned the Jan. 6 insurrection that drew many QAnon followers, but said she agreed with the conspiratorial concerns about human trafficking and foreign influence.