Jacob Chansley—known widely as the "QAnon Shaman" for his participation in the January 6 insurrection—recently filed paperwork with Arizona's Secretary of State's Office, signaling his intention to run for the congressional seat as a Libertarian in the 2024 election.
The news, first reported by The Arizona Republic, is particularly stunning given Chansley's role in the chaotic and violent events that unfolded at the Capitol.
You can see a Newsmax report in which he discusses his campaign below.
The seat Chansley seeks is currently held by Republican Representative Debbie Lesko, who announced her retirement in January, opening up the field for a new representative. Notable contenders for this position include individuals like Blake Masters and Abe Hamadeh, both having previously run for office in Arizona unsuccessfully.
As one of the earliest intruders during the Capitol riot, Chansley faced legal repercussions, eventually pleading guilty to his involvement. Following a 27-month stint in prison out of a 41-month sentence, he expressed a desire to retract his guilty plea. Despite being a convicted felon and ineligible to cast his vote, Chansley remains eligible to contest for public office.
In an interview with Newsmax, Chansley said he wants to disrupt the "dinosaur circus" and "corrupt politics" in Washington, D.C.
"What people are getting with me is exactly what I'm showing them: That I'm not afraid. That I'm not trying to paint an image like all these puppet politicians do. I'm not disingenuous in any way, shape or form."
"I come bare-chested. I come in full regalia. This is who I am. This is who I represent."
"And guess what? I think that once people hear me speak, then they can and will want to vote for me."
When asked for his thoughts on critics who would not want to vote for him because of his participation in a violent attack against democracy, he justified his actions with the following response:
"First of all, I'd tell them that we don't live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic. A democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. A republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
"I'd also say that... the DOJ can convict anybody or anything. I believe it was [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas who said the average American citizen breaks six federal laws a day." ...
"In my opinion, if the American people are looking for change, then I guarantee you they're not going to find it in the establishment. They're not going to find it in any of the people that are currently in Congress because those people are banking on keeping the status quo."
The news about Chansley's run immediately exposed him to criticism from many who condemned his actions as a convicted domestic terrorist.
Chansley made headlines worldwide after he was photographed wearing a horned fur headdress and war paint in red, white, and blue while carrying a spear as he participated in the attack.
After receiving his prison sentence, he continued to profess his innocence, claiming he was simply trying to "calm the crowd" during the breach.
In an interview last year with Inside Edition, Chansley said he regrets "not working to ensure that there was far more peace on that day." He suggested he did not know what would happen when a mob of Trump's supporters—spurred by his lies the 2020 general election had been stolen—attempted to stop the electoral certification of Biden's win.
Chansley blamed the media for making him the public "face" of the attack. His mother—who previously referred to her son as a "patriot"—claimed Trump invited everyone to go to the Capitol and stressed she is passionate "about how wrong I think it is that he [Chansley] is even doing any time at all."