As the 2024 election cycle gains momentum, Democrats are strategically focusing on 15 Republican lawmakers linked to or involved in the January 6 insurrection. This deliberate campaign strategy, identified by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) on December 28, 2023, aims to confront the roles of these legislators in the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., which resulted in the violent breach of the Capitol. According to CNN
Among those under scrutiny are Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano and Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton, whose spouse is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The target list, as outlined by The Daily Beast referencing a report by Jake Lahut, includes 15 state lawmakers, with five reportedly present on the Capitol grounds during the events of January 6.
Notably, Representative Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), who denies breaching the Capitol grounds, had posted social media images contradicting his claim. DLCC highlighted specific active state lawmakers involved in the rally, including Janae Shamp of Arizona, Chris Miller of Illinois, Luana Stoltenberg of Iowa, Matt Maddock of Michigan, John Block of New Mexico, Donnie Loftis of North Carolina, Donna Henderson of North Dakota, Mike Azinger of West Virginia, and Bob Ide of Wyoming. Azinger and Ide were reported to have marched towards the Capitol, and John McGuire, a senator-elect in Virginia, was confirmed to have been present on January 6.
DLCC President Heather Williams stressed the critical nature of the 2024 state-level elections, expressing concerns about the potential return of Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee and the possibility of another contested election.
Williams underscored the gravity of the situation, stating, “Democracy itself is on the line in the states in 2024. If we do not win state legislatures, Republicans have already shown they will try to overturn the election for Trump,” emphasizing the imperative for Democrats to secure victories at the state level.
The Democrats’ strategy to target these Republican lawmakers reflects the heightened focus on the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection. With a commitment to preserving democratic norms and preventing future attempts to overturn election results, Democrats view the 2024 elections as an opportunity to challenge those connected to efforts undermining the 2020 election outcome. As the electoral landscape gears up for the 2024 race and the potential candidacy of Trump looms, the deliberate targeting of these Republican figures underscores the intense political climate leading up to the forthcoming elections.