Media Matters for America (MMFA) has added Illinois’ newly minted 45-year old U.S. Senate candidate Bobby Piton (R, Geneva) to its list of 2022 congressional candidates with ties to QAnon.
For those not familiar with MMFA, it was founded in 2004 by conservative-turned-Democrat David Brock, as a not-for-profit watchdog on conservative media outlets.
In recent years, MMFA has become the de facto repository for candidates with ties to the QAnon conspiracy theory, and frequently updates its repository as candidates “qualify” to be identified as having ties, or saying QAnon messages.
With the 2020 election of Congresswomen Lauren Boebert (R, CO-03) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R, GA-14), mainstream media (MSM) outlets including the Chicago Tribune and POLITICO have accessed the QAnon candidate repository for the 2020 election cycle.
The same likely will continue with 2022.
Last year, two Illinois Republican U.S. House candidates in safe Democrat districts were identified by MMFA and reported in the Chicago Tribune editorial/opinion page as QAnon supporters.
While many consider first-term U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D, Hoffman Estates) to be safe in her reelection bid next year, she does currently occupy a U.S. Senate seat where an incumbent has not won reelection since 1986, and 2022 is expected to be a Republican year, possibly even in Illinois.
Piton was first identified by MMFA as a QAnon follower back in mid-May, in an article MMFA published documenting his work with the Maricopa County, AZ, audit of the November 2020 elections in an unofficial/volunteer capacity.
Piton made his first public announcement of his interest with the U.S. Senate race in 2022 in a Facebook post on May 31.
Since filing his FEC Statement of Organization on June 23 and launching his campaign earlier this month, Piton was identified by MMFA in its early July update of its QAnon candidate repository.
From MMFA on Piton:
“Bobby Piton is a Republican candidate running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. Piton — who has been involved with an audit of ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, for the 2020 presidential election — has posted multiple “Q” drops on Facebook, along with posting an image featuring the QAnon slogan and a meme referencing a belief pushed by some QAnon supporters that John F. Kennedy Jr. is secretly still alive despite dying in a plane crash.
“He has also written, “You are the lucky number 1… 7 on the Truth is Right!!! Q…uestion for you …. do you know some letter is???” — likely a reference to Q, which is the 17th letter of the alphabet.
“Piton also wrote on Gab that QAnon “makes for entertaining reading, but it’s no more accurate than the corrupt MSM.”Bobby Piton reference by Media Matters for America QAnon supporters in 2022 congressional elections
McHenry County Blog reached out to the Piton for U.S. Senate campaign on MMFA’s story.
Piton’s campaign spokesperson pointed out MMFA’s use of “…unnamed non-credible sources, and has gotten countless stories wrong during the past several years.”
From the desk of John Lopez: Based on what’s been cited by MMFA, it is my honest opinion Bobby Piton is no QAnon conspiracy theorist. MMFA has him wrong, and it should be disregarded by any/all mainstream media outlets. Any “evidence” MMFA uses is circumstantial at best, through loose associations with individuals who are involved with QAnon directly.
All that being said, some of Piton’s social media activity, particularly the “Q…uestion” and “1…7” reference from a February 2, 2021 Facebook post, is flirting with QAnon.
What Piton did doesn’t make him a QAnon, but him and all serious, mainstream candidates should be careful not to do something which might have been done as something jovial, comic relief or simply in the context of a joke. It could taint one’s candidacy, possibly beyond repair.
Not everyone is going to have the success of a Lauren Boebert or a Marjorie Taylor Greene.
I have seen candidates get branded as a QAnon candidate by doing very avoidable things, like a Florida congressional candidate in 2020 doing a very effective campaign video, but ending it with the QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all” as a pitch for QAnon supporters who may be watching/listening.
Same goes with innocently placing the 7-character acronym “WWG1WGA” representing the QAnon slogan on one’s social media home page or posts.
From what I’ve read on Piton’s U.S. Senate candidacy, he has some excellent policy points, and a record including his work on the audits on voter fraud, bringing the experience as a front-line worker to protect election integrity.
On term limits, Piton goes above and beyond signing a vapid term limits pledge to support a constitutional amendment. He self-imposes himself to one 6-year term in the U.S. Senate if he wins election next year.
But creating self-inflicted distractions will only hurt any candidate’s messaging and fundraising, and Piton, during the 3rd Quarter fundraising period, must become a viable candidate with aggressive fundraising to convince the donor community he is the best person for the job of United States Senator from Illinois.
And, should the current IL-16 be eliminated with the congressional remap later this year by the Illinois General Assembly, Piton could be facing Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the June 28, 2022 Republican primary next year for the chance to challenge Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Today, Kinzinger reported he has over $3 million in the bank just under a year before primary.
Piton’s messaging complementing his work across the country was brought to the Kane County Board in his hometown of Geneva earlier this week, where he addressed the full County Board about his work across the country on the issue of election integrity, and his findings reapplying his analytics to Kane County’s election returns from last November.
Piton’s speech is 6 minutes long and begins 45 minutes of speeches and discussion, concerning election integrity, and ended with the County Board placing this issue as a post-election audit that will not change any election results, but will help prepare for future elections in Kane County beginning with the June 28, 2022 primary election.
Video is cued to Piton’s speech:
McHenry County Blog will be covering the follow-up from Piton’s presentation which is scheduled for next Thursday’s Kane County Board’s Public Service Committee, which has County Board oversight over the Kane County clerk’s office.
In the meantime, may Piton’s campaign focus on their messaging and do all it can to prevent any avoidable distractions from QAnon or any other nonsense conspiracy theory.
External references from the Chicago Tribune: