Campaign

Nevada man present at Capitol insurrection announces gubernatorial bid

A former professional-boxer-turned-lawyer who was outside the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 riot has announced that he is planning to challenge Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in Nevada's 2022 gubernatorial race.

Joey Gilbert, a Republican, made the announcement over the weekend during an event at the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas, according to a video posted on Facebook.

"The most important message I can leave today for all of you is that, if you sat on your hands and you censored the truth, and you peddled the fear - you're out," Gilbert said.

Gilbert's assistant Andrea Wexelblatt said he was unavailable to comment on his campaign to The Associated Press.

The attorney was in Washington, D.C., to support former President Trump the day that insurrectionists stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block the 2020 election from being certified in President Biden's favor. 

The Reno Gazette-Journal previously reported that Gilbert appeared at the "MAGA Freedom Rally," as a featured speaker. The event, organized by an anti-vaccine political action, was held just one block from the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

He was present at the barricades after they had been torn down by pro-Trump rioters but he claims he did not enter the Capitol.

Gilbert had not been charged with any crime related to the riot. He did not respond to questions from AP or the Gazette-Journal. 

However, he reportedly described the crowd as "one of the most beautiful things he's ever seen."

An ardent supporter of Trump, Gilbert was involved in failed lawsuits attempting to challenge the election results in Nevada. Biden ultimately won the state by more than 33,000 votes.

He said on Saturday that he believes Trump is "still our president" and pledged to make allegations of voter fraud a central tenet of his campaign.

Republicans running for office who are not focused on election integrity are "either lost, confused, or too stupid to be running," Gilbert said during his speech.

Gilbert has frequently pushed false theories on social media, claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines are "more dangerous than the virus." 

He also worked to rescind local mask mandates and filed lawsuits against Sisolak challenging safety restrictions attempting to stem the spread of coronavirus at businesses and places of worship.

An appeals court gave him a victory in December when it ruled that the state could not regulate churches more tightly than businesses and casinos, The Daily Beast noted.

During his campaign speech before a cheering crowd, the ex-boxing champion accused Anthony Fauci of "murder" and said that the nation's top infectious disease expert was a "psychopath" who "should be in prison."

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