See what SC lawmakers think of convicted Capitol rioter running for state House

See what SC lawmakers think of convicted Capitol rioter running for state House

YORK, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A convicted Capitol rioter is running to unseat an incumbent in the South Carolina House. Twenty-two-year-old Elias Irizarry has filed in pursuit of House District 43, which covers parts of York and Chester counties.

Irizzary was caught on camera in the crowd attempting to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power inside and outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Irizarry admitted to spending 27 minutes inside the Capitol building. Surveillance videos show him climbing in through a window holding a metal pipe.

Crossing guards don’t show up after learning about lack of charges from Fort Mill school death

In 2023, Irizarry convinced S.C. Rep. David O’Neal to hire him as a legislative intern.

“He didn’t go up there to protest. He was just kind of up there wandering while everything was going on,” O’Neal said. “He kind of got there late and stuff was already happening and he just kind of fell in with the crowd.”

Irizarry plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. A judge sentenced him to 14 days in jail and a $500 fine.

S.C. Rep. Annie McDaniel believes Irizarry’s running is an ethical concern.

“I think when you decide to want to run for public office, you need to have some atonement from anything you’ve done, that has hurt taxpayers in particular,” McDaniel said. “When you do something to hit to hurt taxpayers, you are hurting all Americans.”

Irizarry is running to unseat Republican incumbent Thomas “Randy” Ligon, who has been in office since 2018.

“I think that says a lot for his character,” McDaniel said. “Just the fact that he would run against a colleague of mine that is doing a good job, it’s even more alarming.”

O’Neal says Irizarry is an honor student who messed up and deserves a second chance to prove himself.

$1.8 billion found in South Carolina ‘mystery’ account; professor explains

“I think it straightened him out working up there as an intern. I think it made him a better kid,” O’Neal said. “I support whatever he wants to do, if he wants to run for a House seat, and the constituents of that district want him, I don’t see a problem with it.”

Irizarry did not return calls for comment on his filing. South Carolina’s state primary election is in June. Right now, there are no Democratic candidates in the race, so it could shape up to be a winner-takes-all situation between the three Republican candidates.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Queen City News.