Man at Capitol riot eyes Congress

  • Jason Riddle holds up a bottle of wine at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Courtesy

The Keene Sentinel
Published: 6/16/2021 4:58:03 PM

The Keene man facing charges stemming from his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol hopes to return to Washington, D.C., in 2023 as a member of Congress.

Jason Riddle said he plans to run as a Republican in the state’s 2nd congressional district, which includes all of the Monadnock Region, in 2022, when the seat now held by Rep. Annie Kuster comes up for grabs.

As a condition of his release from custody in February, Riddle has been largely barred from being within the capital city’s limits.

In a case pending in federal court, Riddle, 33, has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, theft of government property and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The misdemeanor charges stem from the Jan. 6 insurrection during which supporters of then-President Donald Trump breached the Capitol building.

Riddle said he entered the Capitol and drank a bottle of wine he found before leaving. He said he’d been in D.C. that day to participate in a protest against the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Riddle has said he does not support the vandalism and violence that took place during the riot, which left five people dead.

On Feb. 8, he was arrested by the FBI, with assistance from Keene police, and taken into custody. He was released the following day.

Riddle, a former mail carrier who also formerly worked as a corrections officer at the Cheshire County jail in Keene, has been working as a bartender in Brattleboro.

He is next scheduled to appear in court on July 18.

Kuster, a Hopkinton Democrat, has served five terms as a U.S. representative, winning her last election in 2020 with just shy of 54% of the vote. Kuster was at the Capitol when the riot started and has spoken publicly about experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the events of Jan. 6.

If he were to be elected, Riddle – who’d said he planned to run for Cheshire County commissioner before setting his sights on Washington instead – said his first priority would be to “stop enabling people who are not working” and focus on reducing the nation’s unemployment rate.

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