Jacob Chansley, the "QAnon Shaman" known for donning a fur hat, bare chest, and face paint during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, is planning to run for Congress in 2024 as a Libertarian.
The Arizona Republic first reported that Chansley filed a candidate statement of interest with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office Thursday indicating his intention to run as a libertarian for Arizona's Eighth Congressional District.
The seat is currently held by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), who announced her retirement from Congress in October.
Chansley, 35, was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021 for his actions on Jan. 6 and was released to a halfway house in March.
The Arizona native was one of the first supporters of President Donald Trump to enter the Capitol in 2021 and reportedly left a threatening note to Vice President Mike Pence that read: "It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!"
Chansley has described himself as "truly repentant" and has denied holding white supremacist beliefs, as well as renounced the QAnon conspiracy.
“I admit to the world, I was wrong. I have no excuses,” he said. “My behavior was indefensible.”
Under Arizona law, Chansley is ineligible to vote as a convicted felon who has not completed his sentence and had his civil rights restored. However, the Constitution does not bar felons from becoming members of Congress—and some political hopefuls in years past have even run from behind bars.
The seat is rated as solid Republican by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, but Chansley would face slim odds as a Libertarian in a crowded field of candidates.
Among those Republicans who have expressed interest in running to replace Lesko include Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, former Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh, and former 2022 Senate candidate Blake Masters—who recently pivoted his campaign ambitions from another Senate bid.
Chansley also isn't the first candidate in the race to have been at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Republican state Sen. Anthony Kern, participated in the protest against President Joe Biden's win in 2020 being certified, but said he did not enter the Capitol building. However, Kern faces a complaint that he illegally used campaign money to travel to the demonstration.
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