A couple of years ago, The Columbus Dispatch ran a lighthearted feature story on a local man with a yard sign. It was not, however, a typical yard sign.
As the article explained, a man by the name of J.R. Majewski used 120 gallons of biodegradable paint to create the 19,000-square-foot banner on his front lawn. The landscaping endeavor was in pursuit of a simple goal: Majewski wanted to show his support for Donald Trump, so he created a massive banner in honor of the then-president.
This week, the same guy won a Republican congressional primary, and may soon become a federal lawmaker. The local ABC affiliate in Toledo reported yesterday:
Despite being a newcomer to politics and being vastly outspent, J.R. Majewski came away with the win in the Republican primary for Ohio’s 9th district on Tuesday. “I’m only the underdog because I was underestimated, and I was underestimated because I wasn’t part of the political establishment that we’ve had here in the ninth for so many years,” said Majewski.
Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. House, has represented Ohio’s 9th since 1983. She was well positioned to win re-election, right up until Ohio’s Republican-led state legislature dramatically altered her district to make it far more friendly to the GOP.
At that point, serious contenders threw their hat in the ring, and local voters saw plenty of advertising from state Sen. Theresa Gavarone and state Rep. Craig Riedel ahead of this week’s primary. Both of those Republicans fell short, however: Majewski came out on top, winning roughly 36 percent of the vote in the GOP primary.
And it was at that point that the political world started to take a closer look at the Republican nominee — whose record goes well beyond an odd front lawn.
For example, Majewski, an Air Force veteran, was in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 6 and attended Trump’s pre-riot “Stop the Steal” rally. (The Ohioan claims he did not actually enter the Capitol building during the insurrectionist attack.)
As The New York Times reported, Majewski has also “expressed sympathy” for adherents of the QAnon delusion, falsely suggested a prominent Democrat might be a pedophile, and appeared in a video in which he rapped — I’m using the word loosely — a “Let’s Go Brandon” verse.
The Times’ report added, “During his campaign, [Majewski] ran one ad showing him carrying an assault-style rifle in which he says, ‘I’m willing to do whatever it takes to return this country back to its former glory,’ adding, ‘If I’ve got to kick down doors, well, that’s just what patriots do.’”
As for his lawn, the Republican appeared on Fox News to talk about it — while wearing a QAnon shirt.
For some Democrats, this might seem like good news: If a more serious GOP candidate had won this week’s primary, perhaps Kaptur would be in a more vulnerable position. The fact that local Republican voters instead went with Majewski should give the incumbent congresswoman a better chance of success.
I can’t say with confidence whether those assumptions will prove true. What I can say is that there are a limited number of candidates this year who were in D.C. on Jan. 6, and who’ve also expressed an interest in the QAnon delusion. When one of them wins a GOP congressional primary in a competitive district, there’s cause for concern.