At least 57 people who were involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection are now running for office. These people participated in the deadly attempted coup, whether by attending the Save America rally that culminated in the riots, joining the demonstration at the Capitol or storming the building itself. Now, they are seeking their own election into politics.

The actions of these individuals in the historic insurrection, which sought to undermine the 2020 election and potentially physically harm politicians, do not disqualify the Republican candidates. In fact, instead, the candidates are using their participation in the event to bolster their campaigns.

“As I travel around the state, I’m an insurrectionist to some people,” said Ryan Kelley, who led Michigan rallies in November 2020 to protest the election results and who co-founded American Patriot Council, a group that held an April 2020 demonstration resulting in armed protesters entering the Michigan Capitol. Kelley is now running for governor of Michigan. “You know, to other people, it’s like, ‘That’s why I’m voting for you. Because you walk the walk and you were out there fighting for us.'”

The co-founder of American Patriot Council, Jason Howland, was photographed inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection. He is now running for Michigan state legislature.


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The insurrection resulted in 140 injured police officers, over 700 arrests, and resulted in multiple deaths.

The exact number of people who participated in the events of Jan. 6 is currently unknown, with the candidate filing deadlines in many states months away. However, Department of Justice documents suggest that last year alone, 11 of these rioters were elected to office, whether to school board, city council or state legislature.

This year, over two dozen will run for Congress, state legislature or statewide office. At least two of these candidates breached the Capitol building. Additionally, at least five of the rioters are running for gubernatorial positions. At least three of the political candidates this year face charges from their involvement in the riots.

Various candidates have expressed their belief that, though they deemed the 2020 presidential election fraudulent, the elections for which they now campaign will be legitimate.

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