House

Frankel defeats Loomer in Florida House race

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) easily defeated Laura Loomer, a far-right provocateur and activist, on Tuesday in a Palm Beach-area district that includes President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

The district is heavily Democratic, but Loomer, who has been banned from multiple social media and technology platforms for incendiary comments about Muslims, won the GOP primary and gained Trump’s support over the summer.

Frankel has served in the House since 2013 and is a co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, which promotes policies geared toward women as part of the Democratic agenda. She previously served in the Florida state House and as mayor of West Palm Beach.

Loomer, a self-described “proud Islamophobe,” has been banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Lyft and Uber for violating rules against hate speech. Loomer made a point of listing all the platforms from which she is banned on her campaign website, arguing that she was kicked off of them “because of her effectiveness.”

“Someone needs to create a non-Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver,” Loomer tweeted in 2017.

That same year, Loomer retweeted an article from The Nation about how more than 2,000 migrants had died crossing the Mediterranean Sea. “Good. Here’s to 2,000 more,” Loomer wrote, adding an applause emoji.

She also accused the student survivors of the 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., of “reading a screen or notes someone else wrote for them.”

In addition, Loomer interrupted a House hearing to accuse Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of trying to influence the 2018 midterm elections to help the Democratic Party.

Trump embraced Loomer after her primary victory, adding to House GOP headaches of numerous candidates this year embracing fringe views and conspiracy theories.

“Great going Laura. You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!” Trump tweeted in August, referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Loomer was also endorsed by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

While Loomer was a long shot to win in a Democratic stronghold, the House GOP conference is still expected to include more fringe voices in the next session of Congress that begins in January.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has praised the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory in the past, is expected to win election to represent a deep-red open seat in Georgia. House GOP leaders previously condemned Greene’s videos expressing racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views before she won the GOP primary.

Greene said in a Fox News interview in August that she longer associates with QAnon after finding “misinformation.”

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Florida Laura Loomer Lois Frankel Matt Gaetz Nancy Pelosi Paul Gosar
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