One man was a Capitol police officer. The opposite rioted on Jan. 6. They’re each working for Congress.

One man was a Capitol police officer. The opposite rioted on Jan. 6. They’re each working for Congress.


On Tuesday, Derrick Evans and Harry Dunn will make bids for U.S. Home seats of their respective state primaries.

Violent insurrectionists try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.
Violent insurrectionists loyal to then-President Donald Trump attempt to break by way of a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, on the Capitol in Washington. AP Photograph/Julio Cortez, File

By JOHN RABY, Related Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — For Derrick Evans, being a part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol wasn’t sufficient. The previous West Virginia lawmaker desires to make his path to the halls of Congress everlasting.

On the opposite aspect of the metallic barricades that day, Police Officer Harry Dunn couldn’t stand what he noticed as he defended the Capitol and its inhabitants from rioters on Jan. 6, 2021. In the end, the Maryland resident watched lawmakers he had protected vote to acquit former President Donald Trump and deny the violence and trauma that led to the deaths of a few of his fellow officers.

On Tuesday, Evans and Dunn will make bids for U.S. Home seats of their respective state primaries. They arrive into the election with dramatically completely different interpretations about what occurred that day, and their efficiency in Tuesday’s primaries in West Virginia and Maryland might trace at whether or not voters’ opinions in regards to the assault and its that means have modified over time.

In terrorizing the Capitol for a whole afternoon, rioters wielded pipes, bats and bear spray. They used flagpoles as weapons, brutally beat law enforcement officials, chanted that they wished to hold Vice President Mike Pence, broke by way of the glass and busted by way of doorways as lawmakers frantically evacuated. A Georgia man bragged that he “fed” a police officer to the mob. Greater than 100 law enforcement officials have been injured, many overwhelmed and bloodied. Not less than 9 individuals who have been there died throughout and after the rioting, together with a feminine rioter who was shot and killed by police.

Derrick Evans is shown during his swearing-in ceremony.
On this picture offered by the West Virginia Legislative Images, Derrick Evans is proven throughout his swearing-in ceremony to the West Virginia Home of Delegates on Dec. 1, 2020, in Charleston, W.Va. – Will Worth, West Virginia Legislative Images through AP, File

More than 1,350 people have been charged with federal crimes associated to the Capitol riot. Over 850 of them have been sentenced — roughly two-thirds obtained jail phrases starting from a couple of days to 22 years.

The 2 candidacies “symbolize a shift on the a part of the 2 massive events concerning their dedication to regulation and order,” stated Timothy Naftali, a senior researcher at Columbia College’s College of Worldwide and Public Affairs.

It’s exceptional, Naftali stated, that on the identical day, a former police officer might change into a Democratic nominee whereas Republicans might “choose an unrepentant felon” in Evans, who “proudly shows the truth that he violated the regulation on Jan. 6.”

“That could be a cut up display that one won’t have been in a position to think about 15 years in the past,” he stated.

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn.
U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn listens because the Home choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol holds its remaining assembly on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. – AP Photograph/Jacquelyn Martin, File

Whereas Evans is seen as a longshot to unseat a longtime incumbent and doesn’t have the fundraising benefit Dunn enjoys in Maryland, their candidacies a minimum of elevate the chance that they may serve collectively whereas holding starkly completely different views of the violence and destruction of Jan. 6. However even when Dunn wins and Evans loses, he’d be serving alongside dozens of Republicans who’ve come to view the defendants as “hostages.”

Dunn, a 40-year-old Democrat, resigned final December from the Capitol Police after greater than 15 years of service. He was 4 years wanting pension eligibility.

“I’m working for Congress as a result of the forces that spurred that violent assault on January sixth are nonetheless at work in our nation at present, and as a patriotic American, I consider it’s my obligation to step up and defend our democracy,” Dunn stated.

Dunn leads all candidates in fundraising by large margins in Maryland’s third District race, with $4.6 million raised and $714,000 money available, in accordance with his newest marketing campaign finance report with the Federal Election Fee.

Derrick Evans exits the Sidney L. Christie U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building after being arraigned in Huntington, W.Va.
Derrick Evans exits the Sidney L. Christie U.S. Courthouse and Federal Constructing after being arraigned, Jan. 8, 2021, in Huntington, W.Va. – Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch through AP, File

Evans, a 39-year-old Republican and avid Trump supporter, calls himself the one elected official who “had the braveness” to face behind efforts to quickly halt certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. He livestreamed himself on Fb cheering on what he described as a “revolution.”

Evans was arrested two days after the riot and resigned from his West Virginia Home of Delegates seat a month earlier than the 2021 legislative session. He pleaded responsible to a felony civil dysfunction cost and served three months in prison. At his sentencing listening to, Evans apologized for his actions, however he did an about-face upon leaving jail. He started portraying himself as a sufferer of a politically motivated prosecution.

Evans as soon as referred to as himself a Democrat, ending sixth out of seven candidates in a state Home main in 2016. He then switched to the Libertarian Social gathering within the basic election and completed final amongst 5 candidates.

Evans is taking over West Virginia 1st Congressional District Rep. Carol Miller, additionally an enormous Trump backer. In 2022, Miller obtained 66% of the vote in a five-candidate GOP main en path to profitable her third time period in Congress.

Miller is targeted on her personal accomplishments and endorsements, not any criticism from Evans or his standing as a Jan. 6 defendant.

“I don’t take into consideration him in any respect,” she stated.

Dunn is among nearly two dozen Democrats working in Maryland’s third Congressional District, the place incumbent Democrat John Sarbanes will not be searching for reelection. The closely Democratic jurisdiction stretches between Baltimore and the nation’s capital.

U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va.
U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., is proven Feb. 5, 2020, throughout a subcommittee assembly on Capitol Hill in Washington. – AP Photograph/Patrick Semansky, File

Trump and New York Rep. Elise Stefanik have referred to Jan. 6 defendants who went to jail as “hostages,” reflecting a shifting tone amongst some conservatives towards the violent try to overturn the election outcome. Evans wrote a 2023 e book titled “Political Prisoner: The Untold Story of January sixth.”

“I sort of assume it suits into the overall theme of what’s seen as accepted political habits amongst some Republicans within the 2020s that most likely wouldn’t have been the case 10-20 years in the past,” stated Scott Crichlow, an affiliate political science professor at West Virginia College. “Particularly, I feel it suits into the overall Derrick Evans sphere of habits. But in addition that appears to increasingly sort of match, with a minimum of amongst some Republicans, what you wish to see candidates doing and saying at present.”

Later this month, one other convicted Jan. 6 defendant, building superintendent Chuck Hand, is working in a GOP U.S. Home main in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District. Hand faces three different Republicans on Might 21 for the correct to tackle longtime Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop. Hand and his spouse, Mandy Robinson-Hand, have been convicted of misdemeanor parading and picketing on the Capitol. Each have been sentenced to twenty days in federal jail.

Each Hand and Evans echo false claims nonetheless made by Trump that the 2020 election was stolen.

Dunn is repulsed by such rhetoric.

“I gained’t sit on the sidelines whereas Donald Trump and his MAGA allies in Congress attempt to tear our nation aside,” he stated, referring to Trump’s “Make America Nice Once more” slogan.

How a lot legitimacy there may be to rioters’ candidacies stays to be seen. None of these searching for public workplace have gained a lot traction with voters thus far.

In New Hampshire, Capitol riot defendant Jason Riddle plans to run in a crowded GOP main for the state’s 2nd District U.S. Home seat. The candidate submitting interval for the Sept. 10 main is in early June. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster announced in March that she gained’t search a seventh time period. Riddle was sentenced to 90 days in prison for serving to himself to some wine from a lawmaker’s liquor cupboard and stealing a Senate process e book that he later bought.

In Arizona, Jacob Chansley, the spear-carrying rioter whose horned fur hat, naked chest and face paint made him one of many riot’s extra recognizable figures, served about 27 months of a 41-month sentence. He hoped to run as a Libertarian in Arizona’s eighth Congressional District seat however failed to satisfy a deadline to show in required petition signatures to get his identify on the poll.

Tuesday’s primaries in Maryland and West Virginia will supply a extra tangible check.

“On the one hand, Evans is taking a look at it as one thing to be pleased with. Dunn’s taking a look at it as one thing that ought to by no means occur once more,” stated Crichlow. “And in that manner, these two campaigns actually do sort of seize essentially completely different views about the previous couple of years in politics and what politics will appear to be going ahead.”

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