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These Trump fans were at the Capitol on 6 January. Now they’re running for office

·4-min read

One of the candidates filmed himself on the Capitol steps. Another clambered over scaffolding and waved others forward towards the building. Still more were outside, milling around and protesting against the lawful election of Joe Biden.

Of the thousands of diehard Trump supporters who gathered in Washington on 6 January, some are now beginning to emerge as Republican candidates for national and local office.

The electoral chances of each person vary, but they add to the extremist political landscape, ahead of midterm elections in 2022 that could potentially see Democrats lose the House of Representatives.

Teddy Daniels is running for Congress in Pennsylvania, where he aims to oust Representative Matt Cartwright. On 6 January he was at the US Capitol, where he posted a video as people surged into the building.

“I Am Here. God Bless Our Patriots,” Daniels wrote. The video was posted about an hour and a half after Trump supporters breached the Capitol.​

Daniels did not respond to a request for comment. Daniels isn’t just a fringe no-hoper. Vice News reported that he has been endorsed by Michael Flynn, and spent time with Donald Trump at the former president’s New Jersey golf course this summer.

The congressional hopeful has also been a frequent guest on Fox News. If he wins the Republican primary – he came second, by fewer than 3,000 votes, in 2020 – then Daniels will run against the Democratic incumbent Matt Cartwright, who Daniels has described as a “candyass”, next year.

Asked if he entered the Capitol on 6 January, Daniels replied: “January 6 was a coverup of the November 3rd liberal coup to overthrow the government and steal the election from President Trump.”

He did not respond to further questions.

In New York, the Trump enthusiast and social media person Tina Forte is running an extremely long-shot bid to unseat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the star of the Democratic left. A lengthy Snopes investigation found that Forte attended the Capitol riot, where she livestreamed videos from outside the building.

According to Snopes, Forte also “entered a restricted area after the crowd knocked down barriers that law enforcement installed”. In a photo posted on the day of the riot, Forte was wearing what appeared to be black body armor. The picture was captioned “1776”.

Forte, whose manifesto includes opposing mask-wearing, strengthening border security, and a vague promise to create jobs, did not respond to a request for comment.

Derrick Van Orden.
Derrick Van Orden. Photograph: Broadimage/Rex/Shutterstock

Derrick Van Orden, from Wisconsin, has been endorsed by Trump and the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, in his bid to win the state’s third congressional district. Van Orden is running for an open seat, one which Republicans have hope of claiming in 2022. He was also at the Capitol on 6 January, and has been dubbed an “insurrectionist” by the Democratic congressional campaign committee.

The Daily Beast, after analysing social media posts, reported that Van Orden entered a restricted area during the riot, contradicting an op-ed Van Orden wrote for the La Crosse Tribune newspaper in mid-January.

“When it became clear that a protest had become a mob, I left the area as to remain there could be construed as tacitly approving this unlawful conduct. At no time did I enter the grounds, let alone the building,” Van Orden wrote.

Van Orden did not respond to a request for comment.

Further down the political foodchain, 6 January attendees are running for state office in areas around the country. Bridge Michigan reported that five people who were at the insurrection are now running for various positions in the state, including Jason Howland, who photos show entered the Capitol.

In New Hampshire, Jason Riddle is running for the state’s second congressional district, despite pleading guilty in September to five charges arising from him entering the Capitol during the January riot. Once in the Capitol Riddle took, and drank from, a bottle of wine he found in a lawmaker’s office.

Riddle’s campaign announcement was the subject of some mockery in the summer, after he announced he was running against Ann Kuster, a Democratic US congresswoman, in the 2022 midterm elections.

In an interview with NBC10 Boston, however, Riddle appeared not to know which office Kuster held.

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