Capitol Building. (Photo via Metro)
Capitol Building. (Photo via Metro)
While Congress attempted to fulfill their duty to confirm Joe Biden as the next president of the United States last Wednesday, a small group of protesters broke away from the rest and stormed the Capitol Building. Five people died and more than 50 arrests were made.

Local party chairs gave their perspective on the recent events.

“I believe in the US Constitution and freedom of speech and certainly the ability for a peaceful protest, but as a man of law and order, I certainly do not condone in any fashion the criminal events that took place at our nation’s Capitol Building,” said Allen County Republican Chair Keith Cheney. “I believe that most of the people who gathered in Washington Wednesday were there for the right reasons — to exercise their freedom of speech and right to protest.”

Van Wert County Democratic Chair Dan Miller was also taken back by Wednesday’s events.

“I’m saddened by Trump’s ability to convince his followers that he’s the only one telling the truth and all these independent sources of information are false and he’s the only arbiter of truth,” Miller said. “He convinced his followers to storm the Capitol. It wasn’t that hard either. He’s been telling them they’ve been cheated for months.”

Once the crowd was dispersed and a curfew put in place, Congress returned and in the early hours of Thursday, the House and the Senate confirmed Joe Biden as the president-elect.

“America, as we have in our history, needs to have a peaceful transfer of power and Joe Biden will become the president of the United States,” Cheney said. “He is certainly not my personal choice for president but I believe in the laws of the land and that’s the Constitution.”

Miller hopes Biden will work to bring the country together, to strengthen the economy and to beat the coronavirus.

“The Democrats have a long road ahead of them,” Miller said. “It won’t be easy.”

Cheney said his party has its work cut out for the next Presidential Election but his focus will be a little closer to home for the next few years.

“The day after the election, I commenced to focus on the next election cycle, which in this case will be 2022 where all of our statewide executive offices will be up for reelection as well as three seats on Ohio Supreme Court,” he said. “That’s where my focus will be and has already started to commence with setting forth everything we need to have a successful election in 2022 for those candidates as well as our local candidates.”

Amidst the cries of a stolen election, both locals are still in support of the U.S. election process; however, Cheney said it is quite evident there needs to be some scrutiny in other states.

“For a number of years, the focus was on Ohio and Florida, especially coming out of 2000 election cycle. There were numerous changes made in both states to ensure a safe and good election,” Cheney said. “I’m proud of Ohio’s election process. It guarantees your vote will be counted and only registered voters will count. We’ve made an investment into Ohio’s voting system and other states needs to take a look at how we run elections.”

Miller agreed.

“The system we have, when done properly, works the best,” he said.