Three years ago, Harry Dunn clashed with a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and risked his life to defend the building.
The former Capitol Police officer has been candid about the dangers he and his fellow officers and members of Congress faced that day and, more importantly, what he says are the continuing threats to democracy.
Earlier this month, Dunn announced he was running as a Democrat for Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District after incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes (D), announced he was not seeking re-election.
Dunn spoke with ABC News Live’s Lynsey Davis on Monday about his platform.
ABC NEWS LIVE: We know you’re running as a Democrat to represent Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes several counties outside of Baltimore. First of all, just share with us why you decided you wanted to run.
Harry Dunne: Thanks for having me. Always nice to talk to you. It has been three years since the January 6 attack on this nation. I have done my best to achieve accountability, fight for justice, and preserve our democracy and Constitution. I’ve been doing this in my public capacity for the last three years, and I feel like I’ve done everything I can do in the role I had as a Capitol Police officer to advance that fight. I love the saying that as long as there is nothing to do, there is always something to do.
It is no exaggeration to say that we are still under threat from our democracy, which no longer exists. Once Mr. Sarbanes, who now represents the 3rd District, announced that he was not seeking election, it created a real opportunity for me to do more. So I thought, what better way to continue my mission of public service, which I’ve been doing for over 15 years? What better way to continue that than to seek election to represent the people of Maryland’s 3rd District?
ABC NEWS LIVE: You, of course, gave some memorable testimony before the House committee that investigated the attack and called the pro-Trump rioters terrorists. You’ve also written a book about your experiences since that day. Tell us what happened on January 6 that shaped your campaign.
Dan: I don’t necessarily know if that shaped my campaign or not. Obviously, on January 6, I was a police officer and I did my job. Just like so many brave men and women from the Capitol Police and D.C. Police, they did their job that day. But everything I did after that, I don’t consider it as a police officer. I just consider him an American citizen who cares about his country, loves his country, [and] Who hates the direction he is heading.
And to have a front-row seat to the events of January 6 and serve where members of Congress are, [and] Donald Trump’s subordinates are trying to whitewash everything that happened and are giving him a free pass for it. I was in the front seat, being a server at the table, watching them, and it kind of emboldened me for this moment that we’re in now. And if it didn’t happen on January 6, you and I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation at this moment. But January 6 happened, and there’s an opportunity for me to have a seat at the table and not just watch now.
ABC NEWS LIVE: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Congress right now?
Dan: Stability. Look how long we’ve gone without electing a president. Look at how long the previous Speaker of the House served [Kevin] McCarthy to be elected, and now, [the] The current speaker that we have now. There is no stability in Congress. I think people want to feel safe and they want to feel stable, and we’re not getting that in Congress right now, for whatever reason. Just in the ongoing talks about border security, that’s what the House of Representatives is currently fighting over with the Senate, after reaching an agreement. What do we do now?
There is no stability in the government. We are steadily passing temporary spending bills, short bills rather than long-term funding. We can’t even get that done. So I think people want stability, security and representation in Congress. I have been a public servant, and I may not be a public servant, sorry, a professional public servant, but I am a professional public servant. And I’ve been doing it all my life. And listening to people and giving them a voice is something I think I would be great at.
ABC NEWS LIVE: If elected, what is the first thing you want to accomplish?
Dan: Wow, there’s definitely a lot of things I want to address. I’ve been pounding the pavement since day one around mental health and any and all legislation that we can shape and bring to the forefront in mental health, reducing stigma, [and] Making it more available and accessible to individuals who need it is something I definitely want to take care of. I also want to address prison reform.
There are many things, especially now, that seem to be of interest to the MAGA faction of the Republican Party. They have been using the term hostages to refer to prisoners since January 6. Prison reform seems to be something they would be willing to talk about. Now people in marginalized communities and communities of color are crying out for long-needed and needed criminal justice reform. But it’s kind of unfortunate that they only want to make light of it now that it’s affecting people like them, their supporters, and their constituents. But that’s something I’d like to sit down and talk about.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com