Jacob Chansley, the infamous rioter known for his spear-carrying, horned fur hat, and face paint during the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, has expressed his desire to become a member of Congress. Online documents reveal that Chansley, 35, filed a candidate statement of interest on Thursday, indicating his intention to run as a Libertarian in the 2024 election for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District seat.
The current representative for the district, Republican Debbie Lesko, announced last month that she will not seek re-election. Chansley’s filing comes as a surprise, considering his involvement in the Capitol insurrection. He pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding and was sentenced to 41 months in prison in November 2021. After serving approximately 27 months, he was transferred to a Phoenix halfway house in March 2023. Chansley is a native of the greater Phoenix area.
Chansley is one of over 700 individuals who have been sentenced for federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Authorities have identified him as one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol building and noted that he used a bullhorn to incite the mob. Despite previously associating himself with the QAnon movement, Chansley has distanced himself from it.
In the candidate statement of interest filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, Chansley identifies himself as Jacob Angeli-Chansley. While the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit felons from holding federal office, Arizona law restricts felons from voting until they have completed their sentence and had their civil rights restored.
Neither Chansley nor his attorney have responded to requests for comment on his political aspirations. It remains to be seen how Chansley’s involvement in the Capitol insurrection will impact his campaign and public perception.