According to a report from the Daily Beast, the mayor of a small town just outside Seattle is using his position to push QAnon conspiracy theories and squash critics with the help of like-minded city council members.
The report notes that the town of Sequim -- population 7,000 -- is run under a "weak mayor" style of government with Mayor William Armacost elected by council members who are allowing him to dominate meetings by pushing his beliefs at the expense of doing city business.
According to the Beast's Will Sommer, "Questions about insurrections and QAnon have become the norm in Sequim, as its residents grapple with becoming what appears to be the first American town to have an open QAnon supporter as mayor. Now, with Armacost and his allies carrying out what critics have described as a QAnon coup of the town government, the fight over QAnon in Sequim has come to a head."
As the report notes, Armacost has not denied being a part of the conspiracy-minded group whose core belief revolves around the idea that "the Democratic Party is run by a cabal of Satanic cannibal-pedophiles who will someday be arrested and executed by Donald Trump," and, in fact, wears a QAnon button during council Zoom meetings, telling critics, "QAnon is a truth movement that encourages you to think for yourself."
As Sommers reports, "Sequim residents have also accused Armacost of failing to take the pandemic seriously because of his QAnon beliefs," adding, "Armacost has promoted other QAnon ideas on Facebook, too. In December 2019, he posted a YouTube that showed satanic hands embracing the U.S. Capitol Dome, with a title that claimed the world had been under the control of 'Luciferians ' —QAnon lingo for Satan-worshippers. Armacost declared the video a 'must watch.' Armacost also posted a video positing that John F. Kennedy Jr. had faked his death to take on the deep state, a claim embraced by a faction of QAnon believers."
Worst still, when Sequim's longtime city manager, Charlie Bush, criticized the mayor about his QAnon affiliation, leading Armacost too take the council into "a private session hidden from the public. At the end of the session, the council voted 4-2 on a surprise motion from Armacost demanding Bush's resignation as city manager."
"Sequim's local government observers were initially baffled by the move to push out Bush. The reasoning hasn't been public, although Armacost's critics suspect that the mayor moved against Bush for two reasons: criticizing Armacost's QAnon comments in his statement last year, and refusing to block a Native American tribe in Sequim from building a medication-assisted treatment facility in the town, a topic that has become a hot-button issue for conservative voters in the town," the reports states.
One former resident of the town claims the mayor is turning the town into a mecca for conspiracy mongers -- particularly after the Jan. 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol.
According to Matthew Randazzo V, the town has been, "overthrown," by what the man he called the "QAnon mayor," adding, "I think that the events of January 6 have kind of emboldened them."
The report notes that city manager Bush is still on the job as he negotiates his severance package.
You can read more here.