Ex-J6 Cop, Man Convicted In Riot, Each Running For House Seats, Could Serve In Same Congress

Ex-J6 Cop, Man Convicted In Riot, Each Running For House Seats, Could Serve In Same Congress

FILE - Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has scheduled its next hearing for Oct. 13, 2022, pushing the investigation back into the limelight less than three weeks before the midterm election that will determine control of Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Two Jan. 6 Figures Vie for Congressional Seats in Upcoming Primaries
In a striking reflection of America’s political divide, two individuals with direct ties to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack are making bids for Congress in the upcoming primaries.

Harry Dunn, a Democrat from Maryland and former U.S. Capitol police officer who defended lawmakers during the siege, and Derrick Evans, a Republican from West Virginia who served three months in prison for his participation in the event, are both seeking to secure their party’s nomination.

Their candidacies offer a vivid snapshot of a nation still grappling with the repercussions of that day, more than three years later. Dunn and Evans are running in districts where their party affiliations give them a strong chance of winning, potentially setting the stage for both to serve in the House of Representatives.

From Defending Democracy to Pursuing Office

For Dunn, 40, the decision to enter politics was spurred by his experiences on January 6, which he views as a direct threat to the stability of U.S. democracy.

During his testimony in the investigation into the attack, Dunn, who is Black, recounted the racial slurs hurled at him by rioters. He emphasizes the importance of defending democratic principles and the Constitution.

“Some 300 miles away in West Virginia, Evans, 36, aims to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Carol Miller. Evans, who had a brief stint in the state legislature and is a former teacher, was part of the crowd that breached the Capitol.

After pleading guilty to a felony charge related to obstructing law enforcement, he served a three-month sentence.
Both Dunn and Evans assert the critical need to uphold the U.S. Constitution, though their views on how to address the challenges facing the country diverge significantly.

Divergent Paths and Political Visions

Larry Sabato, a political analyst from the University of Virginia, notes that January 6 has exacerbated political polarization, making the involvement of figures like Dunn and Evans in politics a notable development.

Dunn’s campaign focuses on strengthening voter protections, reducing corporate influence in elections, and ensuring the safety of election workers. He expressed a willingness to work across the aisle, emphasizing the importance of compromise in a democratic society.

Conversely, Evans adopts a more confrontational stance, prioritizing exposing and combating corruption in Washington, D.C. His campaign echoes themes of loyalty to former President Donald Trump, advocating for policies such as the border wall and term limits for Congress members.

Campaign Dynamics and Public Responses

With significant campaign contributions and endorsements, including one from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Dunn is a leading candidate in a crowded field. Evans, facing off against Miller, leverages his involvement on January 6 as a testament to his commitment to his political beliefs, despite the controversy surrounding his actions.

This election cycle underscores the ongoing impact of the Capitol attack on American politics, with candidates linked to the event leveraging their experiences in their bids for office. The outcome of the primaries may further illuminate the depth of the nation’s divisions and the electorate’s stance on the events of January 6.