Tito Ortiz — a man who sold QAnon shirts on his site and campaigned on fearmongering tactics & MAGA talking points — has been elected to Huntington Beach city council.
The UFC Hall of Famer finished first among 15 candidates, receiving 14.3 percent of the overall total (34,901 votes). Ortiz, who ran as a conservative, took the lead late on Tuesday night according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Two candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County— Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser—were also elected to city council.
Ortiz, known as the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” during his mixed martial arts career, was elected without any previous political experience. A fierce Trump loyalist, the fighter used his platform to amplify the president, associate with far-right groups, and propagate dangerous conspiracy theories such as QAnon, all while campaigning with the Trumpian slogan of “Making Huntington Beach Safe Again.”
On his campaign website, Ortiz says he believes that “limited government is the best government,” is a “strong” supporter of law enforcement, wants to lessen the “homeless problem” in the city, and is a “100% supporter of the Second Amendment.” However, his social media is filled with far-right propaganda and posts pandering to the QAnon conspiracy theory. Ortiz even attempted to sell QAnon shirts on his clothing website during his campaign. (It appears that Ortiz has since removed the QAnon apparel from his site.)
The former UFC fighter also claimed that George Floyd did not die of suffocation but due to a heart condition. He later added that Floyd was linked to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Beyond his affinity for conspiracy theories, Ortiz has also been arrested on numerous occasions. In 1998, Ortiz pled guilty to charges of “battery with serious bodily injury” and was sentenced to three years probation, 29 days in prison, and more than 200 hours of community service. In 2010, he was arrested for felony domestic violence against then-girlfriend Jenna Jameson. Ortiz then accused Jameson of drug addiction and claimed he never struck her. No charges were filed against Ortiz due to “insufficient corroboration.” Then in 2014, Ortiz was arrested on DUI charges.
Despite his criminal record, tinfoil hat conspiracies, and his lack of political experience, Ortiz was still able to garner the most votes of any of the 15 candidates on the ballot in Huntington Beach. He also plans to resume his MMA career in the coming weeks.
“I will be the first city council member of Huntington Beach to be a professional fighter and a city council member at the same time,” Ortiz said during his speech to applause from the crowd. He also plans to resume his MMA career in the coming weeks.
“I will be the first city council member of Huntington Beach to be a professional fighter and a city council member at the same time,” Ortiz said during one of his speeches.