Loomer, whose campaign manager, Karen Giorno, was an adviser to Donald Trump’s Florida presidential campaign in 2016, said it’s time to flip the district red, while casting herself as the most “Trumpian” of the six candidates.
A Twitter account that supports her quoted Loomer in a fundraising message on Tuesday night as saying that “Congress is about to get Loomered,” and “I will have plenty of opportunities in the halls of Congress to confront The Squad members & call them out on their support 4 Communism & j1had1st alliances.”
Loomer was banned from Twitter and Facebook in 2018 for what many considered to be hate speech against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one member of the “Squad” of four freshman, minority congresswomen.
Loomer said her main issue is law and order.
“There’s a major divide and there’s increasing amounts of political violence and instability taking place in our country because there’s lawlessness and anarchy that’s being promoted by the Democrats,” Loomer said in an interview last week.
Loomer raised the most money in the race by far and outspent her primary opponents by a large margin.
“I’ve been saying for a while that she was the front-runner and tonight is no surprise,” said Michael Barnett, chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County. “Look forward to working with her to help her get elected to Congress and defeating Lois Frankel.”
The slate of candidates in the race included three women — a former burlesque dancer who now runs an exotic animal business; a Palm Beach neighbor of Mar-a-Lago supported by believers of the conspiracy theory QAnon; and Loomer, who was endorsed by Trump stalwarts such as Jones, the far-right conspiracy theorist who, like Loomer, has also been banned from Twitter and other platforms, and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
Three men in the race represented a more traditional Republican slate — a former police officer and military veteran; a former IRS investigator; and a nuclear engineer who is now a college professor.
The professor, Christian Acosta, came in second behind Loomer in unofficial results.
“We were outspent by 10 to one, but we weren’t outvoted by that margin, so we did pretty well with what we had,” said Acosta, who teaches at Palm Beach State College.
Acosta said he heard Loomer talk about moderating her messaging for the general election, and he hopes she does if Republicans want to take the seat from Democrats.
“If she’s just going to decide to be a firebrand and figuratively go out and punch people in the face, I don’t think that’s an approach that helps us or the president,” Acosta said. “If the approach is to try and sort of say, ‘Hey, look, I’m more moderate and I’m trying to be a responsible representative,’ if that’s the approach, then it might be okay. I really think this district requires . . . the willingness to talk to people and that includes people who don’t think like you.”
Acosta was supported by Toni Holt Kramer, who is a longtime Mar-a-Lago member and co-founder of the Trump superfan group the Trumpettes. Kramer said she will support Loomer as the winner of the primary.
“Loyalty to our president will keep us happy and united,” Kramer said.
Trump and his wife, Melania, had their absentee ballots delivered to Palm Beach election officials just in time to be counted in Florida’s primary election Tuesday, the second time this year he has voted by mail in the state.
The couple designated someone to pick up their ballots from the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections’ office in West Palm Beach on Aug. 12. The ballots arrived back at the office on Monday, according to Ashley Houlihan, an attorney for the supervisor’s office.
The president changed his official domicile from New York to Palm Beach in October. He and his wife voted absentee in Florida’s March presidential primary, signing an affidavit that allowed Alejandro Garcia, a Florida Republican Party member, to pick up and deliver their ballots.
Trump has railed against voting by mail, claiming without evidence that it leads to widespread fraud, and has sought to make a distinction between his use of absentee ballots and mail ballots.
In fact, the two terms are used interchangeably, and Florida officially refers to the practice as “vote-by-mail.”