Several people who were at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot are now running for office, hoping to become the next generation of Republican lawmakers.
One candidate is Teddy Daniels, who posted on Twitter a video from the Capitol with the caption, "I am here. God bless our patriots." Daniels, who describes himself as a "pro-Trump Republican" who is a retired police officer and Afghanistan veteran, is running for office in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District. If he wins the GOP primary, Daniels will go up against Rep. Matt Cartwright (D). The Guardian reports that when asked if he entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6, Daniels responded, "Jan. 6 was a coverup of the Nov. 3rd liberal coup to overthrow the government and steal the election from President Trump."
Tina Forte, who aims to unseat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in a district that is reliably blue, managed social media accounts that promoted the "Save America" rally before the assault on the Capitol, Snopes found, and livestreamed the riot on Facebook. She also entered a restricted area of the Capitol after barriers were taken down. On her campaign website, Forte said she is against masking children and believes "politics needs to stay out of health care!"
Bridge Michigan reports that at least five people who were at the Capitol riot are running for various offices in the state, including Ryan Kelley. Kelley, who wants to be Michigan's next governor, climbed on scaffolding, helped move a police barricade, and waved others toward the riot. Kelley organized rallies against Michigan's pandemic orders alongside another conservative activist, Jason Howland, who made it inside the Capitol and is now running for the state House, Bridge Michigan reports.
They are considered longshots, "but it's dangerous to dismiss these people as fringe or extremists, because the Republicans' actions in Washington and Lansing show that these people are very mainstream in today's party, and they should be taken seriously," Jeff Timmer, former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, told Bridge Michigan.