Democrat opposing QAnon backer drops out of race for U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Georgia Democrat running for the U.S. Congress against a Republican businesswoman who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory on Friday said he is dropping out of the race and leaving the state for personal reasons.

Kevin Van Ausdal wrote on Twitter he was quitting the contest against Marjorie Taylor Greene. She won her party's nomination last month in a conservative district of northwest Georgia, making her the likely winner in the general election in November.

"I want you all to hear this from me directly - I am heartbroken to announce that for family and personal reasons, I cannot continue this race for Congress," Van Ausdal said on Twitter.

"The next steps in my life are taking me away from Georgia," Van Ausdal said. He also denounced "dangerous extremism, like the candidacy of Marjorie Greene" and pledged to help whoever follows him in the campaign to defeat her.

QAnon is a fringe belief propagated online that claims without evidence "deep-state" traitors are plotting against President Donald .

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Greene is not the only QAnon supporter on a path to Congress. Colorado restaurateur Lauren Boebert, who bested incumbent Republican Representative Scott Tipton in a June primary, also voiced support for the QAnon theory before the primary, though she has since tried to distance herself from those remarks.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)

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