A Capitol Rioter Says He Wants to Return to D.C.—as a Congressman

“In the long run, if you’re running for office, any attention is good attention, so I think it will help me.”
June 14, 2021, 3:12pm
Jason Riddle of Keene, New Hampshire, was arrested in February and faces charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, theft of government property, and knowingly entering a restricted building.
Jason Riddle of Keene, New Hampshire, was arrested in February and faces charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, theft of government property, and knowingly entering a restricted building. (Photo from Justice Department)

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A man facing charges for participating in the Capitol riot on January 6 says he wants to return to the building—but this time, as an elected official.

Jason Riddle of Keene, New Hampshire, was arrested in February and faces charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, theft of government property, and knowingly entering a restricted building. He told NBC10 Boston that he entered the Capitol building, found a bottle of wine in a Senate office, "chugged it and got out of there.”

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He’s been unrepentant for his actions. And now, he says he plans to run for Congress.

Riddle said he thought his participation in the riots would actually help his campaign against New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster. “In the long run, if you’re running for office, any attention is good attention, so I think it will help me,” Riddle said Sunday.

“It tells them I show up,” Riddle told NBC. “I’m going to actually keep my promises and make some changes.”

But he didn’t exactly seem sure of what he was running for.

After vowing to challenge Kuster, he said “I thought Ann was a state representative.” When NBC told him that no, she was a congresswoman, he replied “Oh, well, I guess I have to run for that, then.”

Riddle’s approach to elections (and, you know, the law) might not make him a star recruit for the National Republican Congressional Committee as it seeks to flip the House next election. But while his actual participation in the riot makes him a novelty, if he somehow won the election, he wouldn’t be the only GOP official who attended the Stop the Steal rallies that morphed into the riot that day. 

Other Republicans who were in Washington on that day include Michigan Republican Party vice chair Meshawn Maddock, who organized a bus convoy to bring protestors to Washington, and Arizona Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem, who is running to be his state’s secretary of state.