Multiple commercials feature Ohioans with law enforcement experience condemning Majewski's presence at the insurrection and his comments boasting about it since.
J.R. Majewski, the GOP nominee for Congress representing Ohio's 9th District, is the subject of numerous ads centering on his role in the insurrection on Jan. 6.
Majewski was on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters breached the building — amidst a joint session of Congress — in effort to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory. Two new ads from House Majority PAC — a super PAC that seeks to elect Democrats to Congress — center on Majewski's participation in the events that took place that day.
One spot, released on Thursday, features a former police officer giving his perspective on what he felt watching the pro-Trump rioters attack law enforcement who were trying to protect the Capitol building and the lawmakers inside.
"J.R. Majewski was at the Capitol, in the middle of the mob as officers were beaten with fists, bats — even the American flag — and said he would do it again," retired Columbus, Ohio police officer Scott Clinger states in the ad as images of Majewski on the Capitol grounds are displayed. "Those aren’t Ohio values, J.R. Majewski should be in jail, not Congress.”
Another House Majority PAC ad, released on Tuesday focuses on Majewski's pride over his participation in the attack, including a comment he made where he said it "pissed me off" when Capitol Police officers defended themselves on Jan. 6.
"The mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, assaulting police officers blocking the way, and J.R. Majewski was among the first past their barricades," the ad's narrator says, adding there were "scores of officers injured, with five dead. Yet Majewski brags he'd do it again."
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Majewski's opponent, also used the insurrection in an attack ad in August. That spot also featured someone with law enforcement experience discussing Majewski's conduct.
"Majewski does not support law enforcement, he should not be our congressman," Lucas County Deputy Sheriff Ralph Green states in the spot. "Something's wrong with that guy."
Ohio's 9th District is one of the more competitive House contests in the upcoming midterm elections. According to FiveThirtyEight, voters in the district have a 6-point partisan lean in favor of Republicans, following recent redistricting determined by the Republican-majority state legislature.
Despite that, Majewski is far from a safe bet to win the race. The race is rated a "toss-up" contest by non-partisan political handicapping outlets Inside Elections and the Cook Political Report, and the one public poll in the race so far found Kaptur has a 5-point lead over Majewski.
Majewski, for his part, hasn't been charged for his role in the insurrection. He claims he didn't know that he was in a restricted area of the Capitol grounds that day, but then bragged about being at the Capitol during the riot in an online interview with someone he attended with. He reiterated in another recent interview that he doesn't regret being there.
Still, the increased scrutiny regarding his presence may affect his chances of winning the election. Polling shows that voters across the country are worried about the future of democracy — a recent CBS News poll found 72% of voters believe democracy is "threatened" in America currently.
Ultimately, more than 140 law enforcement officers were injured protecting the Capitol and those inside it from the insurrectionists. Five officers — Brian Sicknick, Jeffrey Smith, Howie Liebengood, Kyle DeFreytag, and Gunther Hashida — have since died, four as a result of suicide.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.