The Tea Party Candidate With a Real Messiah Complex


Politicians aren’t known for being the humblest bunch. But there’s a Tea Party-backed candidate for Congress whose ego-boosting seems to have gone a step further than usual. Tim D’Annunzio, a Republican candidate in North Carolina’s Eighth District, has actually claimed to be the Messiah, according to sources in court documents. The Associated Press reports:

In Hoke County divorce records, his wife said in 1995 that D’Annunzio had claimed to be the Messiah, had traveled to New Jersey to raise his stepfather from the dead, believed God would drop a 1,000-mile high pyramid as the New Jerusalem on Greenland and found the Ark of the Covenant in Arizona. A doctor’s evaluation the following month said D’Annunzio used marijuana almost daily, had been living with another woman for several months, had once been in drug treatment for heroin dependence and was jailed a couple times as a teenager. The doctor concluded that his religious beliefs were not delusional.

A judge wrote in a child support ruling a few years later that D’Annunzio was a self-described “religious zealot” who believed the government was the “Antichrist.”

The Republican Party has been circulating the papers in an attempt to cut down D’Annunzio’s primary campaign. Running on an anti-government—if not pro-Messiah—platform, D’Annunzio has received significant backing from Tea Party activists and has managed to top his Republican rival Harold Johnson in individual donations. The winner of the June 22 primary will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell, a Blue Dog who wrested the seat, considered to be the most competitive in the state, from GOP control two years ago.

Republicans are rightfully terrified of D’Annunzio’s ascendancy. But some Tea Partiers don’t seem seemed fazed by their candidate’s God complex. Ronnie Long, president of We the People NC, told the AP that he didn’t approve of the GOP’s personal attacks against D’Annunzio, adding: “He’s not the kind of person the parties can rule over and manipulate.”

(h/t Slatest)

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  • Suzy Khimm was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones from March 2010 until June 2011. For more of her stories, click here. Follow her on Twitter here.