Mayor Wants to Turn Small Town in Washington State Into QAnon, USA

William Armacost is sworn into office Monday by Sequim City Clerk Sara McMillon. He was also elected mayor by fellow city council members. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

City council meetings don’t often get heated in Sequim, Washington, a small town of roughly 7,000 people popular with retirees from Seattle.

But five days after militia members, crazed Trump supporters, and QAnon believers violently broke into the U.S. Capitol, a city council meeting buzzed with one question: did Sequim Mayor William Armacost still believe in QAnon?

“Do you still stand behind your belief that QAnon is a truth movement?” Armacost critic Marsha Maguire asked during a council meeting held on Zoom.

Armacost didn’t say anything, but the QAnon questions weren’t over. Next up, a Sequim resident who gave his name as “Josh” had an urgent question for Armacost: Could Armacost hold off on joining any new QAnon insurrections, even if just for a few weeks?

“At the very least, for the rest of this month, if you could promise not to commit any act of insurrection, that would be great,” Josh said at the meeting. “Just as a citizen of Sequim, I don’t like to be represented by terrorists. So if we could promise to finish out this month without killing anyone, that would be great.”

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.

QAnon, a sprawling anti-Semitic conspiracy theory premised on anonymous posts from a figure named “Q” posits that the Democratic Party is run by a cabal of Satanic cannibal-pedophiles who will someday be arrested and executed by Donald Trump. QAnon supporters have gained a foothold in the GOP, with dozens of believers running for office in 2020 and two of them, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), winning House seats. Now Sequim finds itself as the latest flashpoint in QAnon’s rise.

Armacost, a salon owner and Sequim councilmember, was selected by other councilmembers in January 2020 to serve as the town’s next mayor.

Sequim operates under a “weak mayor” form of government that turns a salaried city manager into the city’s chief executive, meaning that the mayoral position was traditionally not hotly contested. After Armacost was chosen, the Sequim Gazette listed Armacost’s chief responsibility as running city council meetings.

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast, Will Sommer