Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly
A member of the Oath Keepers who was present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is running for the New Jersey State Assembly.
Edward Durfee Jr., a tech consultant running as a Republican, did not enter the Capitol during the riots and has condemned the violence that took place that day, The New York Times reported.
Durfee has said he was there to protest perceived election fraud as part of an Oath Keeper security detail, according to the Times.
“We weren’t enforcers,” Durfee said to the Times. “We were just there as eyes.” He added that the events of Jan. 6 “morphed into something and got out of control,” noting that it was “shameful.”
However, the 67-year-old remains a firm believer in the group’s far-right, anti-government ideology. The Oath Keepers have promoted various conspiracy theories, including the “big lie” that former President Trump won the 2020 election.
Durfee also serves on the Republican committee in his county, a largely Democratic area just 30 miles outside Manhattan.
“I’m an oxymoron in government,” Durfee, who ran unopposed in the primary, told the Times. “I’m on the ballot because nobody challenged me. There’s that lack of participation among our citizens.”
Republicans are outnumbered one to three by Democrats in Durfee’s district, making it less enticing to invest time and funding into a Republican campaign, the newspaper noted.
“It’s a very tough district for Republicans and Mr. Durfee was, frankly, one of only a couple people who put his name in,” Jack Zisa, who serves as the county’s Republican chairman, said to the Times.
“We’re the Republican Party,” Zisa added of Durfee’s candidacy. “We’re not the Oath Keeper party.”
Zisa, however, also noted that Durfee “might drive the Republican voter out.”
The Hill has reached out to Durfee for comment.
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