North Carolina, Capitol Riots, Republicans

North Carolina, Capitol Riots

Handpicked incoming GOP NC lawmaker claims he was at Jan. 6 riot

Handpicked incoming GOP NC lawmaker claims he was at Jan. 6 riot

10/23/2021 6:47:00 AM

Handpicked incoming GOP NC lawmaker claims he was at Jan. 6 riot

The incoming state legislator was chosen to fill a seat left vacant in early October when a former Gaston County lawmaker died.

An incoming North Carolina state lawmaker told a Raleigh-based television news station on Friday that he was outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, the day a protest against the certification of the 2020 election results in Washington, D.C. turned violent.

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Donnie Loftis, who is to become a General Assembly member for North Carolina's 109th District in the wake of former state Representative Dana Bumgardner's death earlier this month,told WRALhe"peacefully exercised my first amendment rights in front of the U.S. Capitol" and was"surprised and disappointed to watch others storm the entrance as violence ensued."

"I had absolutely zero involvement in the rioting and categorically condemn the storming of our Capitol building that day," the station reported Loftis told them in a text message exchange.The Gaston County GOP announced on Thursday that its executive committee selected Loftis during a Wednesday meeting held to discuss who would fill Bumgardner's seat. Three individuals were nominated for the position, and Loftis was chosen after two rounds of voting, according to the county GOP.

An incoming North Carolina state lawmaker told a local media outlet on Friday that he was outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. Above, protesters gather at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.Jon Cherry/Getty ImagesGaston County GOP Chairman Jonathan Fletcher noted it is"important that we have a principled Conservative standing up for us" in a party press release and said of Loftis,"we know that he is ready to get to work immediately."

"The experience he brings to this position and his heart of service for the people of this district are exactly what we need in this difficult time," Fletcher added.Before he was selected as Bumgardner's successor, Loftis was elected to serve as Gaston County's commissioner in 2000 and again in 2008. He served for years in the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard, earning the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star along the way, according to the county GOP's release.

Read more: Newsweek »

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