Jacob Chansley, the man who became known as the QAnon Shaman after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has filed paperwork to run for Congress in Arizona in 2024.
Chansley, who wore a horned headdress and face paint and carried a spear during the riot, is a convicted felon who was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021. He was released to a halfway house in March 2023 after cooperating with prosecutors and expressing remorse for his actions.
He is now seeking to challenge Republican Kari Lake, a former TV anchor and a Trump ally, who is running for governor of Arizona. Chansley has filed as a Libertarian candidate for the state’s 8th congressional district, which covers parts of Phoenix and its suburbs.
“I am running for Congress not because I think I can win, but because I know I can make a difference,” Chansley said in a statement. He said he wants to bring “truth, transparency and accountability” to Washington and to “restore the people’s trust in their government.”
Chansley has also renounced his former allegiance to QAnon, a conspiracy theory that claims former President Donald Trump is fighting a cabal of satanic pedophiles, and to Trump himself, whom he accused of “duping” and “lying to” him and his followers.
“He is very intelligent, well-spoken, and has a lot of good ideas. He is not a violent person, he is a peaceful person. He is a patriot who loves his country and wants to serve it,” said Albert Watkins, Chansley’s attorney, who is also his campaign manager.
However, Chansley faces several legal and political hurdles in his bid for office. He cannot vote until he completes his sentence and restores his civil rights, which could take years. He also has to contend with the stigma of being one of the most recognizable faces of the Jan. 6 attack, which resulted in five deaths and hundreds of injuries.
“He is a joke. He is a clown. He is a traitor. He is a disgrace. He is a danger to our democracy and our security. He should be locked up, not running for office,” said Ruben Gallego, a Democratic congressman from Arizona, who was among the lawmakers who had to evacuate the Capitol during the riot.
Chansley’s candidacy has also drawn mixed reactions from the Libertarian Party, which advocates for limited government and individual freedom. Michael Kielsky, the party’s chairman in Arizona, said he welcomed Chansley’s participation and praised him as a “free thinker” and a “unique individual.”
“He is not your typical politician. He is not beholden to any party or any special interest. He is a free thinker who speaks his mind and follows his heart,” Kielsky said.
However, some Libertarians have expressed concern that Chansley’s association with QAnon and the Capitol riot could tarnish the party’s image and credibility. They have also questioned his sincerity and his understanding of the party’s principles and platform.
“He is a hero. He is a warrior. He is a prophet. He is a leader. He is a visionary. He is the voice of the people and the will of God. He should be president, not just a congressman,” said an anonymous QAnon supporter, who said he still believes in Chansley and his mission.
– Jan. 6 Capitol riot ‘QAnon Shaman’ files for 2024 congressional bid, MSN, November 13, 2023
– ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley Is Planning to Run for Congress, Business Insider, November 13, 2023
– Jan. 6 rioter dubbed “QAnon Shaman” plans to run for U.S. Congress, Axios, November 13, 2023
– ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansely files paperwork for 2024 congressional bid, Washington Examiner, November 12, 2023