Thune Challenger Among Jan. 6 Demonstrators In Washington

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Black Hills candidate who wants to unseat South Dakota Sen. John Thune in next year's Republican primary says he demonstrated in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 against President Joe Biden’s victory.

Mark Mowry, of Spearfish, says his candidacy is fueled by Thune's unwillingness to question the validity of the presidential election.

Mowry told the Argus Leader that he participated in demonstrations near Capitol Hill the day Congress was set to confirm the results of the Nov. 3 election, but he was not part of the riots that broke out and led to protesters storming the Capitol.

“It’s not something I’d normally do, because I don’t consider myself much of a political activist,” Mowry said of his decision to head east in January. “But I was not in the Capitol. That’s a trespassing issue. And that never should have happened."

Mowry is among skeptics who don't believe former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.

Mowry and other far-right Trump supporters have targeted Thune after the senator made public statements dismissing allegations of widespread voter fraud. Trump used social media to call Thune a “RINO,” Republican In Name Only, and speculated that his Senate career is “over.”

The U.S. Justice Department under Trump said there was no evidence that Biden did not fairly and legally win the presidency.