Laura Loomer wins Republican primary in Florida

27-year-old right-wing activist wins Republican primary in Florida, setting her up for run against heavily favored Democratic incumbent.

Ron Kampeas, JTA ,

Laura Loomer
Laura Loomer
REUTERS

Laura Loomer, a Jewish right-wing activist known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, has won the Republican primary in the southern Florida congressional district where President Donald Trump votes.

The primary win caps a rapid rise for the 27-year-old political activist, whose provocations — and the responses to them — have made her a favorite of the right wing of the Republican Party. In 2017, Loomer, who calls herself an “investigative journalist,” was banned from Uber for calling on the rideshare service to allow riders to reject Muslim drivers.

In 2018, Twitter suspended her account after she called Rep. Ilhan Omar, then a congressional candidate, “anti-Jewish.” Last year, Facebook banned her amid a purge of people the company said used the platform to promote hate.

Loomer won 42% of the vote in a six-candidate field in the primary on Tuesday. She’ll now face off in November against the Jewish incumbent Democrat, Lois Frankel, who handily bested a challenger from the left, Guido Weiss, with 87% of the vote.

Loomer is widely expected to lose the general election; Frankel ran unopposed in 2018 and won 63% of the vote in 2016. But she had the endorsement of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a conservative figure who is close to President Donald Trump. Trump and Gaetz both congratulated her on Twitter on Tuesday night; so did Marjorie Taylor Greene, a conspiracy theorist who last week won a primary in a heavily Republican district in Georgia.

Wins by these right-wing figures are presenting a dilemma for the party’s congressional leadership, which has sought to marginalize hard-line right-wing figures. While Trump has frequently endorsed the Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger Stone, endorsed Loomer, and Karen Giorno, an official with Trump’s candidates, he did not endorse Loomer during the primary, although they have supporters in common. 2016 campaign, managed her campaign.

The 21st District, encompassing parts of Broward County and Palm Beach, includes Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and is where Trump casts his vote.



top