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Several Trump supporters involved in Jan. 6 are running for office this year

Candidates involved in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, will be on ballots across the country this year.
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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has promised to pardon many of his supporters convicted of crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol if he’s elected in November.

Further down the ballot in the 2024 elections, several convicted rioters and others who were involved in the lead-up to the Capitol attack are running for local and national office themselves.

An image of President Donald Trump appears on video screens
Supporters gather near the Ellipse at the White House to hear Donald Trump deliver a speech on Jan. 6, 2021.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images file

This fall will also see a candidate who was on the other side of the clash on Jan. 6, 2021. Former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who faced down a crowd of rioters, is running to replace retiring Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland. The primary in that race is on May 14.

NBC News has identified seven candidates who are running for elected office this year who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 or attended the Trump “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded it, plus three more who ran but have already lost in primaries. Only one candidate — Derrick Evans of West Virginia — returned NBC News’ request for comment for this story.

Kimberly Dragoo, Missouri

Kimberly Dragoo before entering the Capitol through a window.
Kimberly Dragoo at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.U.S. District Court

Kimberly Dragoo, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, lost her race Tuesday for a seat on the St. Joseph Board of Education in Missouri.

Dragoo participated in the riot with her husband, Steven, who photographed the couple throughout the day, including when she went through a broken window into the Capitol, according to court documents. She was one of 10 candidates running for three open seats for a board that oversees 10,000 students and 1,500 staff members, per the district’s website. She came in eighth out of 10 candidates.

Michele Morrow, North Carolina

Michele Morrow won the Republican primary for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Education and will face democrat Mo Green in November.

Morrow has said publicly that she attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 but that she did not enter the Capitol building. Morrow spoke to a local news station about her experience shortly after Jan. 6, saying that she “was up there” and “around the Capitol” and tried to discourage others from committing violence. She said she was “telling everyone we cannot expect our lawmakers to uphold the law if we’re going to break the law.” She has not been charged in connection with Jan. 6.

Morrow has recently gained national prominence for past social media posts in which she called for violence against prominent Democrats, including calls for the execution of President Joe Biden and then-President Barack Obama, which were first reported by CNN. In a video posted on X, she responded to the reporting of her posts saying they were “old comments taken out of context, made in jest, or never made in the first place.” She accused the media of reporting on the statements to “hide the radicalism of the Democrat platform.”

If elected, Morrow would oversee the nearly 3,000 public schools in North Carolina, attended by 1.4 million children. Morrow has no elected experience, has said that she homeschools her children and has described public schooling as “indoctrination” in social media posts.

Jason Riddle, New Hampshire

Jason Riddle holds a bottle of wine inside the Capitol.
Jason Riddle at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.via NBC Boston

Jason Riddle pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol and theft of government property and was sentenced to 90 days in prison. Now, he is running for Congress in New Hampshire’s Second District. He admitted to chugging a bottle of wine inside the building and provided a photo of himself holding the bottle to media outlets, per government filings.

This is his second run for Congress. He also ran in 2022, but his candidacy was complicated by the fact that he was incarcerated at the time. He also initially expressed confusion about what office he was running for. In an interview with NBC Boston, Riddle said that he planned to challenge Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster but he “thought Ann was a state representative.” When told that she was a member of Congress, he replied: “Oh, well, I guess I have to run for that then.”

Kuster recently announced her retirement, vacating her seat in the Concord-based swing district.

In a survey about his policy positions for the website Ballotpedia, Riddle described himself as a “recently released January 6th political prisoner” and lists Jesus as his only endorsement. The filing deadline for New Hampshire is in June and he is one of several Republicans seeking to run in the GOP primary, which is set for Sept. 10.

Anthony Kern, Arizona

Anthony Kern Anthony Kern argues in support of a provision in the Arizona budget package that strips cash from Maricopa County Sheriff's office in Phoenix
Arizona state Sen. Anthony Kern in 2017.Bob Christie / AP file

Anthony Kern is a current member of the Arizona Senate who signed a document falsely “certifying” the Arizona election for Trump as a fake elector. Kern attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and was outside the Capitol while rioters entered it; multiple news outlets identified him in video of the day posted online. Kern tweeted on Jan. 6 that he was in Washington for “D-Day,” using the hashtag #StopTheSteal. He later condemned the violence. He has not been charged in relation to the attack and there is no evidence that he entered the Capitol.

Kern had an ethics complaint filed against him for allegedly using campaign funds for his travel expenses to attend the Jan. 6 rally, but he has not responded to requests for a reply, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office said. He is currently the subject of a state criminal investigation for his role as a fake elector. He has denied all wrongdoing.?

Kern is running for Congress in Arizona’s 8th District, where he faces several opponents in the race to replace retiring Republican Debbie Lesko. His opponents include Blake Masters, the Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona in 2022, and Abe Hamadeh, the Republican candidate for Arizona Attorney General in 2022. (Hamadeh has filed three legal challenges to his loss in the election, all of which are still pending.)

The district, which covers the northwest Phoenix suburbs, is considered solidly Republican, with Trump having won it in 2020 by 13 points.

Jacob Chansley, Arizona

Jacob Chansley at the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
Jacob Chansley at the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Jacob Chansley, better known as the “QAnon Shaman,” had indicated that he’s running for the same seat as Kern, but as a libertarian.

Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison for felony obstruction of a proceeding. He is notorious for his unusual attire, having worn a furry horned headdress on Jan. 6.

He filed a statement of interest to run for Congress in November, but does not appear to have taken other steps such as setting up a campaign website or filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.?He is not listed as a candidate on the Arizona Libertarian Party’s website.

While he did not respond to a request for comment, Chansley indicated in an X post Wednesday, after this article published, that he is not running. Chansley said, “3rd party candidates getting enough signatures to get on the ballot has been made virtually impossible,” adding that he doesn’t “wanna mud wrestle with alligators in the DC swamp anyway.”

Derrick Evans, West Virginia

Derrick Evans at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Derrick Evans at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Department of Justice

Derrick Evans, a former West Virginia state lawmaker, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in prison on a felony charge for his role on Jan. 6. Now, he is running for Congress in the state’s 1st District. He will face incumbent Republican Carol Miller in a May 14 primary.

Evans, who had been sworn into office just weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, livestreamed his activities that day on Facebook, including him yelling, “Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”

When reached for comment this week about how his connection to the riot was affecting his candidacy, Evans said in a statement that he believes there was an effort to steal the 2020 election from Trump.

Evans has been endorsed by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, who is facing a primary challenge from the right.

Katrina Pierson, Texas

Katrina Pierson listens during the Conservative Political Action Conference
Katrina Pierson at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas in 2021.Dylan Hollingsworth / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Pierson is headed to a runoff in her bid for Texas’ 33rd state House District. Pierson, a former Trump spokesperson, helped organize the rally at the Ellipse and served as a liaison between organizers and the White House, including sharing Trump’s plan to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol, according to the House Jan. 6 Committee’s report. There is no evidence that Pierson went near the Capitol or into the building and she has not been charged with any crimes.

Pierson faces incumbent state Rep. Justin Holland, also a Republican, in a May 28 runoff. She was endorsed in the race by Gov. Greg Abbot and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is targeting state House members who voted to impeach him, including Holland.

Candidates who lost

Several candidates involved in Jan. 6 have already lost their bids for office this cycle.

Ryan Zink, who was convicted of a felony and two misdemeanors for his role in the riot, lost his primary challenge to Rep. Jodey Arrington in Texas’ 19th Congressional District. He filmed himself breaching the Capitol in footage cited by prosecutors, saying, “We’re storming the Capitol! You can’t stop us!” He received about 3% of the vote.

Phillip Sean Grillo, who was convicted of five charges, including one felony for his actions that day, lost the race to be the Republican candidate in the special election to replace George Santos in New York’s 3rd District. He testified at his trial that he had “no idea” Congress met at the Capitol.

Bianca Gracia lost her bid to represent Texas’ 128th state House District. According to the Jan. 6 committee report, Gracia helped organize a pro-Trump rally in Washington on Jan. 5 and had close ties to the extremist Proud Boys group, even meeting with leaders of that group and of the Oath Keepers on the night before the riot. Gracia gave testimony to the House Jan. 6 committee but largely invoked her Fifth Amendment rights in declining to answer questions. She has not been charged with any crimes and does not appear to have been at or near the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Gracia was endorsed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton but that wasn’t enough to help her defeat ultra-conservative Texas house member Briscoe Cain, who assisted the Trump legal team in its election results challenges in 2020.

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