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Editorial: St. Louis County Republicans back a candidate whose beliefs go beyond bizarre

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Protesters gather at St. Louis Public School headquarters

Jeffery Schaefer, left, speaks with Katherine Pinner during a 2021 demonstration at St. Louis Public School headquarters in downtown to protest a policy requiring teachers working for the school district to show proof of vaccination. 

Probably no one is more surprised by Katherine Pinner’s victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary victory for St. Louis County executive than her opponent, state Rep. Shamed Dogan. Dogan was hardly a household name, but at least he was well known and well liked across party lines. Pinner was hardly known beyond her own household. How she managed more than 33,000 votes — 7,000 more than Dogan — is for the political scientists to explain. For now, the challenge is figuring out who, exactly, Pinner is and what she stands for.

As if St. Louis County politics hadn’t already pushed the envelope of the bizarre, a whole new era of wackiness is about to begin, especially if Pinner defeats incumbent Democrat Sam Page in the general election. Recall those raucous County Council meetings of the past two years as public speakers expounded on Critical Race Theory or their most wild vaccination and coronavirus theories. Pinner’s blog posts suggest she counts those people among her base — perhaps along with QAnon Nation.

Pinner embraces a theory that President Biden’s Build Back Better plan has satanic roots. All you have to do is replace the B’s with the number 6 to get the mark of the devil. “As voters started catching onto this plan of 6uild 6ack 6etter, the democrats quickly changed their slogan,” she blogged.

When Democrats characterized the 2020 presidential election as a battle for the soul of the nation, she suggests, it was actually a bid by Satan — with United Nations collusion — to take over the soul of the nation. And don’t get Pinner started on the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the rich and powerful in Davos, Switzerland. She questions whether coronavirus vaccines are part of a plot to inject humans with nanotechnology to program people against their will.

“In other words, in the words Q: WAKE UP!” she blogged.

“It is all connected. … To implement this plan and to inventory every item on the planet, including people, you need a bar code. How do you bar code nine billion people? Well, it’s quite simple. You vaccinate them.”

Pinner declined to submit answers for the Post-Dispatch’s pre-election voter’s guide. She shuns reporters’ queries if they’re not submitted in writing. There are no state campaign finance reports for her. The group Freedom Principle claims her as a member who “worked with our group to ban Critical Race Theory.”

This is the person Republicans chose over Dogan. If Dogan took his primary election victory for granted, he has only himself to blame. If tens of thousands of Republicans rallied behind Pinner because they preferred a secretive white woman with dangerous conspiratorial beliefs over a centrist Black man, that’s on the GOP to explain.

Either way, the St. Louis County political locomotive appears to have veered back onto the track to Wackoville.

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