Candidates peddling conspiracy theories lose races in western Washington


In Snohomish County, candidate Anita Shad ran for a seat at a Public Hospitals Commission with a harmless voter guide.

He highlighted his experience of working with various communities in fields such as education and medicine. But that omitted his record of disseminating medical disinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shad reportedly promoted ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, despite warnings from the FDA, and spoke last summer at an anti-vaccine rally in Olympia under a different name, Anita Azariah.

“Don’t take the vaccine, but if you want to take the vaccine, it’s your choice,” she urged the other protesters.

Shad lost the race to Jim Distelhorst, a retired physician who held position 5 in the No.2 Public Hospital District, also known as the Verdant Health Commission.

According to Distelhorst, Shad’s controversial views on medicine could have become a headache for the hospital board if they had won.

“I’ve seen boards where you have one person at odds with the other four and you spend a lot of time and energy managing,” he said.

“What bothers me is the stealthy part of it,” he added. “The only election-related material does not mention any of these issues. She refused to answer questions from the local media here and also from the Women’s League voters.

Shad did not respond to KUOW’s interview request.

Down Renton, Katie Bachand also led a stealth campaign in a race for commission from a public hospital.

Her official candidate statement did not mention that she was spreading misinformation about ivermectin and vaccines on her Facebook page. And she refused to discuss these messages with reporters.

“My take on the mask-wearing warrants is irrelevant,” she told KUOW, noting that the relevant information relates to her conservative positions on finances.

On Friday, Bachand followed his opponent Monique Taylor-Swan by around 2,000 votes. Taylor-Swan is a board member for SEIU 775 and a home aide in the Washington Department of Health and Social Services.

“I think it’s a threat to health care. You don’t get vaccinated, you don’t wear a mask, you put everyone at risk, and you just risk putting more people at risk with the decisions you make, ”she said.

On the Olympic Peninsula, a list of candidates has been advised by a QAnon apologist named Donnie Hall, a Clallam County Republican who co-founded a group called the Independent Advisory Association, which recruits and trains conservative-populist candidates.

Shortly after KUOW reported on Hall, he allegedly distanced himself from QAnon, calling it a “hoax.”

Nonetheless, by Friday, November 5, Hall’s candidates were either late or had already lost. This includes three incumbents in Sequim, where the incumbent Mayor William Armocost has promoted QAnon conspiracy theories.

These electoral results will effectively put an end to Armacost’s majority on the Sequim city council.

Under Sequim’s “weak mayor” governance system, the mayor is first elected or appointed to city council, and then appointed to the post of mayor by other council members. In this case, Armacost’s tenure as mayor runs until the end of 2021, but his tenure as a member of city council runs until 2023.

This trend in Washington state also manifested nationally this fall, with candidates espousing conspiracy theories running for various local offices, from school boards to city councils, often without disclosing their views. more controversial.

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