WASHINGTON — State and local officials have released statements concerning the riots in the nation’s capital that breached the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Newly elected Preble County Commissioners Adam Craft and Rachael Vonderhaar reacted to the news after their commission meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.
Craft: “I just think it’s unfortunate for our nation that we’ve been put in such a position that we’re so divided right now,” he said. “And regardless of what happens, we need to unify, and we need to come together and we need to be Americans, and we need to forget the petty politics of the whole thing.”
Vonderhaar: “For me, it was hard to see. Emotional for many across the country, an institution that we love so dearly to be attacked in the way that it has been,” she said. “All you need to do is travel abroad, step outside these borders to realize how blessed we are in this country. And we need to be more thankful for the rights that we have. I’m not saying we’re perfect. There’s always room for improvement. But it’s time that we show the love of Christ by caring for our community and our neighbors, and thinking about every step that we take and the decisions that we make.”
Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, who was in neighboring Arlington, Virginia for personal reasons at the time of the protest and was never in Washington D.C., said to The Register-Herald on Jan. 8 that he watched it on TV like everybody else.
“I certainly understand everybody’s frustrations with the federal government and the elections and such,” he said. “I think up until they started committing criminal acts, once they started that, then obviously the problems started.
“I fully support everybody’s first amendment right to free speech, to protest or gather, or anything like that, peacefully, but once you start committing crimes that’s a whole different discussion.
“I’m not sure that we’ve ever seen things like that occur out of – I’ll say the Trump supporters – or people that gather to protest the election or anything like that. So, I was a little surprised that occurred to the extent it did.”
State Representative for Ohio’s 43rd District and former Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech said what happened at the U.S. Capitol is “horrible and uncalled for.”
“There is no excuse for this kind of behavior,” he said on Facebook. “Prayers for the Capitol Police, Secret Service and those doing their job to protect the Capitol.”
Rep. Warren Davidson, who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District that includes all of Preble County, issued the following statement on the riots on Jan. 7:
“There is no excuse for rioters’ actions yesterday, and their actions are rightly condemned. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, not riots or rioters.
“After ensuring that my staff in the D.C. office returned home safe, I returned to the business of the House, to join debate on election integrity in Arizona and Pennsylvania. I’m disappointed that Senators withdrew principled objections, preventing further debate.
“In Congress, we fight with reasoned arguments and recorded votes. The debate remains essential to properly safeguarding the hard-won principle that all citizens have equal protection. That is violated when elections fail by law or practice.
“I voted with my district, representing the concerns of Ohio’s 8th District residents. I objected to electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, where numerous systemic issues threatened to undermine the equal protection principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ No debate was permitted on other states, so they were accepted without debate or recorded vote.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine came out strongly against the riots.
“This is an embarrassment to our country. This must stop immediately,” Gov. DeWine said in a statement on Jan. 6. “The President should call for the demonstrators to leave our Capitol Building. The final step in the constitutional process of electing our president has been disrupted. The stopping of the count of the Electoral College votes has occurred because the security of the U.S. Capitol has been breached by a violent mob. As a nation of laws, this is simply not acceptable. Lawlessness is not acceptable. This is an affront to our Constitution and everything we hold dear. Those who breached the Capitol breached the Constitution. Peaceful demonstrations outside the Capitol are an exercise of the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights. Stopping the constitutional process by which we elect the president is not.”