Jo Rae Perkins Wiki – Jo Rae Perkins Biography
Jo Rae Perkins, a real estate agent and financial planner based in Albany, Oregon, won the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race in Oregon. She won with nearly 50% of the vote, defeating three other Republican candidates, according to Ballotpedia. Perkins defines herself as a “Constitutional Conservative” and her campaign supports a number of right-wing issues, including an expanded border wall, gun rights, and the pro-life movement. On her campaign website, she claims she is against mandatory vaccinations and big federal government. According to the New York Times, Perkins insisted that she would not get the coronavirus vaccine, saying, “I don’t know what they are pumping me full of” and “I don’t want that crap.”
Perkins’s platform is also associated with the right-wing conspiracy theory, QAnon. On the day of the primary, Perkins uploaded a video to Twitter featuring a QAnon slogan, according to the National Review. In the video, she said, “I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons, and thank you patriots. And together, we can save our republic.” The video was taken down, but not before catching the attention of voters and media.
Following her victory in the Republican primary and the subsequent media coverage, Perkins tweeted a press release blasting the media for “‘not doing their due diligence’” and claiming that, “‘less than 24 hours after my win, my words were already being spun through the fake news machine and taken out of context.’” It goes on, stating, “I do not believe everything from Q/Anon and would never describe myself as a follower, but I do not believe in infringing upon any outlet’s right to discuss news or topics.” The press release concludes, “‘Now on to the real issues that matter!’”
Like clockwork, liberal media pounces. Our grassroots support pushed us to a near 20-point win & victory in every single county. Of course they don’t want to cover that! Read my statement & join the team today. pic.twitter.com/zpSn5VJ3iu
— Jo Rae Perkins (@PerkinsForUSSen) May 21, 2020
The following day, Perkins appeared on ABC News and directly contradicted the press release, claiming that she was, “literally physically in tears” after reading her statement. “I scanned it and said, yeah, it looks good to me and out it went. And then I saw it afterwards and I am like, literally was in tears, literally physically in tears because I’m so blown away. Because I went, crap, that’s not me. And I don’t back down.” She continued, “I’m not backpedaling and I’m frustrated. I feel like I’m having to backpedal and that’s like torn me up because that’s not me.”
Perkins received a political science degree from Oregon State University.
Perkins been an Albany resident since 1975. Perkins served as chairwoman of the Linn County Republican Party for two years, and also worked for a number of years as financial advisor. She also volunteered at the Northwest Art and Air Festival for many years, where she helped run the air ballooning, relying on a class she took at Linn-Benton Community College.
Perkins said that she and her husband declared bankruptcy in February 1997 following high medical bills for a hand injury, a divorce filing (they later reconciled), and four months without a real estate sale.
In December 2005, Perkins was arrested on charges of hindering prosecution and harassment after preventing police from entering her home. The police were searching for her son, whom they say had evaded a police car after being asked to stop. Perkins later plead no contest, paid a $200 fine, and performed 40 hours of community service, after which the charge was dropped.
Perkins said was fired in 2008 from her investment sales position at Key Investments for violating company policy. She had recommended a client purchase preferred stock and had exceeded a $500,000 limit for selling investments. However, she alleged that she had in fact been fired because the company “didn’t want someone telling them the truth.” Following her job loss, Perkins began providing independent investment advice. However, she was unable to maintain her business, leading to her second bankrupcy filing in December 2009, in which she declared around $100,000 in debts.
Perkins ran unsuccessful campaigns for Albany mayor in 2010 and for city council. She ran unsuccessful campaigns for Senate in 2014 and 2018. She won the Republican Senatorial primary in March 2020.
2014 U.S. Senate Election
Perkins was the first Republican challenger to enter the 2014 Oregon Republican primary, joining on August 16 in her first federal election attempt. She said she joined in large part out of concern regarding erosion of states’ rights. Her campaign expressed disatisfaction after she was not invited to a January debate between the two frontrunners at the Dorchester Conference. As of February 2014, she had raised just under $4,600 in campaign funding for the year, the least out of the four eventual Republican candidates. She lost, coming in fourth place with 3% of the vote. In 2016, Perkins ran for Oregon’s 4th congressional district and came in 2nd place in the Republican primary behind Art Robinson. She received 32% of the vote.
2018 U.S. Senate election
Perkins was a Congressional candidate in 2018, running again in the 4th district, but she lost to Robinson in the Republican primary. Right Wing Watch reports that Perkins posted many tweets containing QAnon-related messages and hashtags during the 2018 race. She won 21 percent of the Republican primary vote in the 2018 election.
2020 U.S. Senate election
Perkins entered the Oregon Republican Senate primary on January 17, 2020, saying she was inspired by what she described as Senator Jeff Merkley’s focus on “sham impeachment trials.” In a discussion with Right Wing Watch in January, Perkins described her belief in QAnon as an important feature of her campaign and “a very, highly calculated risk.” Between entering the race and March 2020, Perkins raised over $25,000 in publicly declared campaign funds, with many donations on WinRed, the official Republican National Convention- and Trump-supported fundraising platform.
Perkins won the primary on May 19, 2020, and will oppose the Democratic incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley in November for the general election. She finished with nearly fifty percent of the vote, well ahead of her three challengers. During Perkin’s victory speech, she repeatedly invoked a catchphrase associated with QAnon and expressed appreciation for the QAnon supporters whom she met during her campaign. In a victory video that was subsequently deleted, Perkins said, “I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons, and thank you patriots. And together, we can save our republic.” In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting a few days after the video was taken down, Perkins said she had removed the video under advice from a campaign consultant, that she regretted the removal, and that she continues to view the QAnon forums as one source of information among many that she values.
In her 2014 race, The Oregonian highlighted two major distinguishing characteristics between the five candidates: their position on abortion and their position on immigration. Perkins expressed opposition to abortion. On immigration, she suggested that as long as the border were better secured, she would be willing to accept permanent residency for most undocumented immigrants. She also said that she supported the abolition of the Federal Reserve, which she described as an unconstitutional “bank cartel.” The Oregonian also highlighted her calls to repeal Obamacare, to abolish the federal income tax, and to privatize Social Security and Medicare.