Republican congressional candidate Jerone Davison prepares to gun down Ku Klux Klan members in his latest campaign ad released Wednesday morning. The video portrays the Klansmen as Democrats.
Davison is a political newcomer and former running back for the Oakland Raiders (now Las Vegas Raiders). His campaign is managed by Austin Steinbart, aka BabyQ, a QAnon influencer who claims to be from the future.
The team’s new ad quickly went viral on Twitter, amassing over a million views in the first five hours, then doubling that total view count by the afternoon. Davison had less than 5,000 Twitter followers before the ad was posted, and the total grew to more than 8,700 in the following hours.
Make guns even better 💪🏿
— Jerone Davison for #AZCD4 Congress (@Jerone4Congress) July 6, 2022
The 51-year-old Republican is a Mississippi native who first came to the Valley to play football for Arizona State University. He fell in love with the region.
Since his time in the NFL in the 1990s, Davison has worked as a pastor, author and speaker.
In the new ad titled “Make Rifles Great Again,” a play on former President Donald Trump’s iconic slogan, a horde of pitchfork-wielding Klansmen are advancing violently toward Davison’s home in Tempe.
Davison calmly sips a star-studded cup of coffee before donning a pair of stylish Ray-Ban sunglasses and producing a modified KelTec SUB2000 semi-automatic rifle.
“When that rifle is the only thing standing between your family and a dozen angry Democrats in Klan hoods, you might need that semi-automatic and the 30 rounds,” Davison says in the ad.
A single Klan hood floats ominously in the pool in the final frames of the video.
While Second Amendment enthusiasts dubbed it “the best political ad ever,” responses to the ad on Twitter were widely critical.
“It’s a disturbing gun fetish fantasy and I hope it never comes true,” said renowned Ubisoft game developer Dan Amrich. tweeted.
Davison is vying to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman Greg Stanton in Arizona’s new Congressional District 4, which includes Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and Ahwatukee.
First, he will face four other lesser-known Republicans in the Aug. 2 primary election. Query data for primary is not available.
Davison’s campaign believes he has a great chance of getting the GOP offer.
“We like to draw attention to the fact that the KKK was started by Democrats and is run by Democrats,” said Steinbart, the campaign manager. Phoenix New Times Wednesday.
A 2020 fact check of USA today revealed that the Democratic Party did not found the KKK, an apocryphal trope often regurgitated by the modern alt-right.
However, decades later, a Democratic splinter group that opposed the Democratic Party’s civil rights agenda led to an upsurge in KKK activity, including bombings of black schools and churches and violence against black and white activists in the south.
“When I grew up in the south, the KKK was coming, and everyone in our community was scared and scared, but I wasn’t scared because my dad had guns in the house and the guns made me feel safe,” Davison told an alt-right blog on Wednesday morning. “The past is still relevant today because the Democrats are still terrorists.”
When not claiming to be a time-traveling QAnon shaman, Steinbart has spent time in prison. In 2020, he was arrested on suspicion of using a urine-filled synthetic penis to dodge drug tests. He was released last year after 225 days behind bars for leaking brain scans and medical records of NFL players.
Davison also hid QAnon slogans on his campaign website.
“Political tensions are high,” Steinbart said. “Whether you’re a liberal worried about being attacked by a far-right militia or you’re on the right worried about being attacked by BLM or Antifa, everyone is worried about their safety. We believe that if someone threatens you at home, you should defend yourself.
Pro-Second Amendment rhetoric is a keystone of Davison’s campaign, but he also prioritizes criminal justice reform. He wants to fight prosecution overload and racial bias in the criminal justice system, goals more commonly associated with Democrats.
In fact, the additional campaign ads planned for future dates are “not a very rah-rah Republican aesthetic,” Steinbart said.
Davison, who is black, wants to “shatter traditional thinking within the Republican Party” by marrying conservative gun ideals with a more progressive effort to address institutional racism in Arizona, according to Steinbart.
“We really try to connect with the black community,” Steinbart said. “Black gun ownership is black self-esteem.”