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Michigan governor hopeful pleads not guilty in Jan. 6 riot

headshot of Ryan Kelley wearing a suit
Ryan D. Kelley for Governor of Michigan

A Republican candidate for Michigan governor has pleaded not guilty for his actions during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Ryan Kelley has said he and other supporters of then-President Donald Trump were exercising their free speech rights on the day of the deadly riot.

Kelley appeared via video Thursday for a brief hearing in federal court, weeks after the real estate broker was arrested at his home in western Michigan and charged with several misdemeanors.

Kelley said little during the hearing. But at a debate Wednesday night, he said he and others at the Capitol were unhappy with the 2020 presidential election, when Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Kelley is among five Republicans seeking the GOP nomination on Aug. 2.

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