Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has endorsed Carl Paladino, a far-right Republican running to represent New York’s 23rd District in the House of Representatives, and who hired a convicted sex offender to work on his campaign. “Carl is the America First, pro-Trump candidate in the race,” Greene wrote in a statement.
Paladino’s campaign has been newsworthy only through the candidate’s affinity for making reprehensible statements and questionable campaign choices, a habit that likely endeared him to Greene.
Earlier this month, Paladino told Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle that “people like Garland, who should not only be impeached, he probably should be executed,” before later claiming he was just being “facetious.” In July, it was reported that he hired a man convicted on child pornography-related charges as his new assistant treasurer. Following the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde in May, Paladino boosted social media posts claiming they were false-flag attacks.In Feb. 2021, Paladino praised Adolf Hitler as “the kind of leader we need today.”
Greene, who did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment, has a history of leveling accusations of supporting pedophila against her political opponents, including tweeting that Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney were “pro-pedophile” when they voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. In addition to now endorsing a candidate who hired a convicted sex offender, Greene earlier this year hired right-wing reactionary Milo Yiannopoulos, who has argued relationships between adults and children could “happen perfectly consensually.”
Paladino has recently received gushing praise from reactionary figures like Steve Bannon, and though he’s been backed by conspiracy theorists like Greene and Rep. Matt Gaetz, his endorsements reach even the highest levels of the Republican party. Third-ranking house Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has endorsed Paladino, and has leveled attacks against his opponent Nick Langworthy, the New York Republican Party chairman.
Despite outspending Langworthy throughout the campaign, Tuesday’s primary is expected to be a close battle between the candidates. The winner will face Democrat Max Della Pia in the general election.