Mark Finchem and Wendy Rogers. /Photos: Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0, Jerod MacDonald-Evoy /Arizona Mirror
BY JIM SMALL | Arizona Mirror
Two Arizona Republicans are trumpeting an endorsement from Andrew Torba, the CEO of far-right social media platform Gab, who said earlier this month that Jewish people aren’t welcome on Gab — and should be exiled from the conservative movement altogether.
Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state, and state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who is seeking re-election, this week both touted their endorsements from Torba and praised him. Both said on social media that they were “honored” to have Torba’s endorsement, and Rogers included the hashtag #GabCaucus, the name that the Gab CEO has used for the collection of Republicans he supports across the country.
“These people aren’t conservative. They’re not Christian, right? They don’t share our values. They have inverted values from us as Christians. So don’t fall for the bait, right?” he said in a video defending Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. Torba is serving as a consultant to Mastriano’s campaign.
“We are going to take back this country for the glory of God. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country,” he added.
Gab has long been a haven for antisemites and violent extremists since launching in 2017 as an alternative to Twitter, which in recent years has more strictly enforced its policies against hate speech and violent rhetoric.
In 2018, a prolific user of the site who had posted neo-Nazi propaganda and calls for violence against Jewish people massacred 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, fueled by the so-called great replacement theory that has motivated white supremacist mass murderers around the world.
Gab has also openly courted racists to join the platform, HuffPost reported in 2018: