Jan. 6 rioter Chuck Hand loses GOP primary runoff in Georgia’s 2nd District

WASHINGTON — A convicted Jan. 6 defendant from Georgia who served 20 days in prison for his actions during the attack on the U.S. Capitol lost a Republican primary runoff for a House seat in Georgia, The Associated Press projects.

Charles Hand III, or Chuck Hand, was defeated by former Trump administration official Wayne Johnson as they vied to face Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop in the general election in the solidly blue district. The two candidates advanced to a runoff after neither won a majority of the vote in the initial May primary.

Charles Hand, foreground, second right, holding a mask to his face at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.U.S. District Court

Hand walked out of a debate earlier this month with Johnson not long after a former candidate in the race, Michael Nixon, brought up the criminal history of his wife, Mandy Robinson-Hand, who was his co-defendant in his Jan. 6 case. As federal prosecutors noted in their 2023 sentencing memo in her Jan. 6 case, Robinson-Hand was previously convicted in 2008 of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and use of a communication facility in committing a felony. In his Jan. 6 case, Hand admitted that he “broke off a piece of metal fencing and placed it in his back pants pocket” as rioters fought with police on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. Inside the Capitol, he admitted that he saw rioters fighting with officers and “moved towards the altercation,” but that his wife pulled him away.

Hand, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo, “participated in the riot on January 6, despite watching rioters assaulting police and seeing the destruction of property around him. He then celebrated his participation in the riot, telling his wife, ‘Like I said it was a perfect time to be a. Part of history!’. He then encouraged his wife to not turn herself in and to ‘Deny, deny, deny.'”

A side by side of Hand holding the metal fencing and the object in his back pocket
Charles Hand admitted that he “broke a piece of metal fencing and placed it in his back pants pocket.”U.S. District Court

Hand also had a history of arrests for driving under the influence in 2005 and 2010. In a letter to his sentencing judge in his Jan. 6 case, Hand wrote that while he’s now sober, he’d “forced” his wife into his truck after he was drinking more than 10 years ago and “almost took her life because of my poor decision.” Robinson-Hand, her husband wrote, “ended up in a coma and on life support, with her body mangled and mauled.” She was bedridden and wheelchair bound for years, Hand wrote, adding that he “single handedly altered her life.”

More than 1,400 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with prosecutors securing convictions against more than 1,000 defendants so far. More than 540 defendants have been sentenced to periods of incarceration that have ranged from short sentences like those given to Hand and his wife all the way up to 22 years in federal prison for a Proud Boys leader convicted of seditious conspiracy.

Hand was one of several candidates running for office across the country this year who was involved in the Jan. 6 attack.

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