An Arizona sheriff who made a name for himself by refusing to enforce Covid-19 protocols is throwing his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) by moving even farther to the right and embracing QAnon conspiracy theories.
Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County has been hitting the QAnon podcast shows circuit as he attempts to elevate his profile for a run at the seat that may see him running against failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who is already catering to the conspiracy-minded fringe.
According to a report from Salon's Areeba Shah, Lamb "has appeared on at least five QAnon-friendly shows, including the podcasts 'X22 Report' and 'Uncensored Abe' as well as shows hosted by John Michael Chambers and Sean Morgan, both prominent figures in the QAnon movement who have pushed a variety of conspiracy theories to their audiences."
During one appearance Lamb boasted "I follow the show, so this is a treat for me."
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According to Eric Hananoki of Media Matters, Lamb has added those appearances to go with his occasional hits on Fox News as he hits the election trail.
"He's basically spent years trying to build up his political profile by appearing on these fringe toxic media outlets," Hananoki explained before adding, "QAnon supporters have a history of violence, including attacking police officers. You never want to give fuel to conspiracy theories, but especially conspiracy theories that have a violent aspect to them— that's what the concern is."
The report adds, "To those familiar with Lamb's history as sheriff of Pinal County — a heavily Republican rural and suburban area south of Phoenix — it comes as no surprise that he violates political norms in an effort to appeal to far-right audiences, including appearing on a network that has engaged in overt antisemitism."
"Even if they don't believe in QAnon itself, it's clear that a lot of Republican legislators, candidates and officials believe narratives that float around right-wing conspiracist circles," Hananoki elaborated before adding, "Lamb has spent a lot of years trying to give validation to toxic media outlets. There is a danger with all that, as we've seen, especially with Jan. 6."
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