WASHINGTON, D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man who ran for office in Hawaii was among the rioters who stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attempt to thwart President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Nick Ochs is founder of “Proud Boys Hawaii,” a far right extremist group, and lost the race for the House seat in Waikiki in November.
Although he’s not been named by Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Police as a person of interest, CNN has identified Ochs as one of several alleged instigators of the mob.
“It does not surprise me. This is a person who has made offensive remarks about the Jewish community, women, the LGBT community, immigrants, Muslims, you name it, he’s made fun of it,” said state Rep. Adrian Tam, who represents Waikiki and beat Ochs in the November general election.
Ochs did not return calls from Hawaii News Now but told CNN he was working as professional journalist. And while he was in the Capitol, he told the network that he didn’t enter the chambers or any congressional offices.
He tweeted a photo of himself smoking a cigarette with the caption, “Hello from the Capital lol.”
Ochs was also spotted in a large maskless crowd within the chambers of Congress.
“The pictures I saw seem to show me that he wasn’t distancing himself as a journalist from the mob, from the invaders,” said Colin Moore, Hawaii News Now’s political analyst.
That Ochs represented the Republican Party as a political candidate reflects the party’s shift away from a centrist philosophy, said Moore.
“Their success in the past has always been through business-oriented conservative folks like Gov. (Linda) Lingle, but in recent years, I’ve seen them move in a farther right direction,” said Moore.
Late Thursday, Hawaii Republican Party Chair Shirlene Ostrov disavowed Ochs.
Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Kurt Fevella said Ochs doesn’t reflect the values of the party.
“Nobody I know in the Republican Party would ever reach to that level, to storm a building, putting other people in danger,” said Fevella.