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Kern County’s political parties look back on the Jan. 6 insurrection

Posted: 4:55 PM, Jan 06, 2022
Updated: 2022-01-06 21:38:40-05
If the insurrection at the Capitol showed anything, it’s that we have a long way to go to get back to a civil political dialogue.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Although the insurrection happened all the way in D.C., the impacts have been felt in communities across the nation, including here in Kern County.

All politics is local politics and here in Kern County, it did prompt some action from both Democratic and Republican party groups.

How many people are Democrats or Republicans in Kern County?

Democrats: 449,989

Republicans: 476,077

- Kern Vote

Videos from the insurrection are still shocking, but like Political Science Professor, Jeremy Adams, explained it didn’t change opinion the way many thought it would.

“I don’t think it changed, a lot of opinions, but I do think it cemented a lot of opinions,” said Jeremy Adams, 23ABC Political Analyst.

That is the case for both leaders of each respective party in Kern County.

“We are contrasting our policies, compared to Joe Biden and to Gavin Newsom’s, we are a party of law and order, we have a right to be safe, a right to make a living, and to keep more money in your pocket,” said Matthew Martin, Executive Director of Kern County Republicans.

“This hatred, this distrust of government has been brewing for a while and it certainly was expedited with the former president, Donald Trump, that he incited the riots, he influenced the attack on the capital,” said Christian Romo, Chair of Kern County Democratic Central Committee.

Regardless, the events a year ago did result in some action. While Martin said they are focusing on contrasting Newsom’s policies, Romo said they are working to increase voter registration and focusing on local races

“What matters is these school board races, these city council races, that affect you every day, and what that attack on the capital has done is motivate these people to never ever let this happen again,” said Romo.

Meanwhile, Professor Adams warns about the division that continues to this day.

“We are bounded by the constitution and let’s not forget the first three words of the preamble, ‘We the People’, it is singular, and it is capitalized. We are one people and if we forget what binds us, which is our loyalty to the republic and to the constitution that creates that republic then we really will be lost.”

While the investigation into the attacks on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is still ongoing, 23ABC took a deeper look at the damages to the Capitol building and at how many people have been arrested and charged in connection to the riots.

According to an estimate by the architect of the Capitol back in May, the attack caused about $1.5 million worth of damage to the Capitol building.

More than 725 arrests were made in almost every state and the District of Columbia.

Approximately 140 police officers were assaulted at the Capitol, which included about 80 Capitol police and about 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department.

About 165 people pleaded guilty to various federal charges from misdemeanors to felony obstruction.

About 70 people were sentenced following a federal charge. Thirty-one have spent time in jail and 18 had a period of home detention.

The FBI says it currently has 16 videos of suspects wanted for violent assaults on federal officers.