Maryland’s Harry Dunn, other former Capitol Police officers will campaign for Biden in swing states

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BALTIMORE — Harry Dunn, a former U.S. Capitol Police officer from Maryland who defended the building during the Jan. 6 riot, will join former police colleagues in campaigning for President Joe Biden in battleground states.

According to the Biden campaign, Dunn, former Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, and Officer Daniel Hodges are scheduled to appear in battleground states including Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and New Hampshire between now and June 27, the date of the first debate between Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, the presumed Republican nominee.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Dunn — who lost a congressional primary election bid on May 14 — grappled with supporters of Trump who had stormed the Capitol seeking unsuccessfully to block Congress from finalizing the vote count declaring Biden the winner of the 2020 election. He told a House committee in July 2021 of being called racial epithets as he sought to protect the building.

“Donald Trump and his unhinged quest for power and retribution pose an existential threat to our democracy,” Dunn said in a written statement on Tuesday.

Dunn lost a bid in the May 14 primary to become the Democratic nominee for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by the retirement of Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes. Democratic State Sen. Sarah Elfreth will face Anne Arundel County Republican Robert J. Steinberger in the November election in the district, which is split between Howard and Anne Arundel counties and includes a piece of Carroll County, as well.

Gonell was also a member of the U.S. Capitol Police who, like Dunn, has since left the force. Hodges is currently an officer with Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department.

The campaign swing was scheduled to begin in Nevada on Wednesday. Dunn and Gonell were to appear in Las Vegas and Reno to “slam Trump’s attacks on democracy and embrace of political violence,” Biden’s campaign said in a news release.

Dunn, a 6-foot-7 former James Madison University football player, is the author of a memoir called “Standing my Ground,” which recounts his experience on Jan. 6, 2021.