While Rep. Steve Pearce doesn’t mention abortion on his campaign website, he is planning to appear this weekend with anti-abortion activists who have actively pushed QAnon and other far-right conspiracies as his campaign for governor enters its final weeks.
Abortion has played a significant role in Pearce’s political career, and the New Mexico Republican has proudly enlisted the help of Bud and Tara Shaver, Albuquerque-based missionaries who run an organization called Abortion Free New Mexico.
But the couple in recent years has spread far-right and conspiratorial messages from QAnon, Alex Jones, Wikileaks and Gavin McInnes, the founder of a violent far-right group whose members reportedly beat a protester in New York on Friday.
Pearce and the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Michelle Garcia Holmes, are scheduled to speak at the Shavers’ Northern New Mexico Pro-Life Legislative Summit on Sunday.
The Shavers supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and Bud Shaver repeatedly used the hash tags “#HandcuffHillary” and “#HillaryForPrison2016” on Facebook.
It was a precursor for his messaging during the Trump presidency.
After a woman accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at a high school party in the 1980s, he shared a post from Jones’s InfoWars about the accuser: “Christine Blasey Ford Ran Mass ‘Hypnotic Inductions’ of Psychiatric Subjects as Part of Mind Control Research.”
Shaver also shared a post that claimed, “The Leftists Are Conducting Satanic Rituals Ahead Of Kavanaugh Nomination.”
In September, he shared an InfoWars post with the headline “Trump Planning Mass Arrests, Military Tribunals for Deep State Traitors.” Shaver added, “HAS TO BE DONE,” along with emojis of the American flag and praying hands.
Last year, Pearce’s congressional office included praise from Tara Shaver in a press release about his effort to get the Justice Department to investigate alleged abortion violations at the University of New Mexico.
The Shavers’ website, Pro-Life Witness, includes a photo of the couple posing with Pearce and asks for donations to their organization to support his campaign.
“We are working to help Michelle Garcia Holmes in her campaign for Lt. Governor and also Congressman Steve Pearce’s campaign for Governor, but we need your help,” they wrote. “Please give your best gift today to help us elect pro-life leaders in the late term abortion capital of the nation.”
In May, the New Mexico Political Report reported that the Shavers’ “provocations in New Mexico have alienated them from many mainstream conservatives, including self-proclaimed ‘pro-life’ Republicans,” but Pearce remained an ally.
Tara Shaver dismissed the suggestion that the couple’s affiliation with QAnon and other conspiracies would hurt their credibility.
“People are always trying to make affiliations between what we do, what our tactics are,” she said.