Arizona’s horn-wearing Capitol rioter explains why he’s running for Congress

Nov 14, 2023, 2:00 PM

Jacob Chansley, the Arizona horned rioter who gained notoriety for during the Jan. 6 insurrection, ...

Jacob Chansley, the Arizona horned rioter who gained notoriety for during the Jan. 6 insurrection, is running for U.S. Congress in Arizona. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Jacob Chansley has been out of prison for about eight months but is hoping that in a year’s time, will be elected as Arizona’s newest member of Congress.

The horn-wearing man who gained national notoriety during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots filed a statement of interest to run as a Libertarian in next year’s election for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District seat.

Chansley laid out the four key points of his platform to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show on Monday.

“A single-bill voting law, a term limit amendment for congressmen and staff, criminalizing lobbying and seven figure fines, expulsion and prosecution for insider trading,” Chansley said.

Chansley, who spent 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding in connection with the Capitol insurrection, believes he will get enough signatures to make it on the ballot for the election.

He added that he expects his platform to attract support from all parties.

“Those four things can and will systemically rid D.C. of corruption,” Chansley said. “Those are going to create enormous obstacles to the centralization of power and the perpetuation of corruption and tyranny.”

Who else is running for Arizona’s open 8th Congressional District seat?

Chansley would face a crowded group seeking to replace Republican Debbie Lesko in the district, which covers northwest Phoenix and adjoining West Valley suburban areas.

The list of Republican hopefuls includes two 2022 statewide race losers in attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh and U.S. Senate nominee Blake Masters, and two members of the Arizona Legislature in House Speaker Ben Toma and Sen. Anthony Kern.

Former Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks also plans to win back the seat he resigned from amid scandal six years ago after reportedly asking two staffers to carry his child.

Democrats Gregory Whitten and Bernadette Greene Placentia and independent Jeremy Spreitzer are also running for the CD8 seat, according to Federal Elections Commission records.

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t prohibit felons from holding federal office. But Arizona law prohibits felons from voting until they have completed their sentence and had their civil rights restored.

“I’m thinking centuries ahead and the only way that we’re going to get out of the mess that we’re in is if we start thinking decades and centuries ahead,” Chansley said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona’s horn-wearing Capitol rioter explains why he’s running for Congress