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Former Capitol Police Officer Announces Congressional Bid in Maryland

Former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who had spoken out about the violent events of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, announced his candidacy for Congress in Maryland’s 3rd District. His campaign, launched on the third anniversary of the Capitol attack, is rooted in his experience on that fateful day and the events thereafter.

Motivation Behind Running for Congress

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Reflecting on the Capitol attack, Dunn expressed his concern about the threat to democracy. In a phone interview with NBC News, he said, “Because of Jan. 6 and everything that happened afterwards, it’s clear how much of a threat the extinction of our democracy is — it’s very present right now”.

Dunn’s Tenure with the Capitol Police

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Dunn, who is a 15-year veteran with the U.S. Capitol Police, had to recount being physically attacked and racially insulted during the Jan. 6 riot for months after the event. He became a key figure, sharing his experiences in congressional hearings, delivering emotional testimony, and even authoring a book on the subject.

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Emotional Testimony at the Jan. 6 Committee

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Dunn’s impactful testimony at the first House Jan. 6 committee hearing highlighted the violence and brutality officers faced. His advocacy for accountability for the attack became a rallying cry for those who demanded justice for the attack victims.

Involvement in Legal Proceedings

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Dunn was actively involved in the legal aftermath of Jan. 6, participating in over 1,200 cases. He attended Trump’s court appearance and testimony during the Oath Keepers trial and shared his experience abou tthe attack’s impact on law enforcement.

The Aftermath of Jan. 6 for Dunn

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Dunn admitted to struggling with trauma and the difficulty of wearing his police uniform after the riot. This experience, however, fueled his motivation to seek a more impactful role in government.

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Transition from Law Enforcement to Politics

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After resigning from the Capitol Police, Dunn saw his congressional run as a way to raise his voice and impact. He aims to transition from a protector to an active participant in policy-making, seeking a more influential role.

Dunn’s Reflection on Police Limitations

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Reflecting on his career, Dunn noted the limitations he faced as a Capitol Police officer. He said, “As a Capitol Police officer, I was very limited to what I can do, to what I can say, the criticisms of members who I protect, who I disagree with.”

Facing a Crowded Democratic Primary

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Dunn has entered a competitive Democratic primary in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, where he faces ten other candidates. Despite the crowded field, he believes his unique experience defending democracy makes him the best candidate.

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Potential Residency Shift for Representation

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Though not a resident of the district as of now, Dunn is committed to relocating if elected.

Highlighting Key Maryland Issues

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Dunn talked about the key issues he wants to highlight during this campaign, such as infrastructure challenges in Baltimore and concerns about mental health and crime. He also wants to address broader issues such as gun control and abortion.

Favorable District Political Landscape

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Dunn noted the district’s tendency to favor Democrats, citing the past victories of Rep. Sarbanes and President Biden. The candidate from the Democratic party is favorite to win this time as well.

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