Massachusetts

Straight Pride Parade Organizer Who Was at Jan. 6 Riot Running for State Rep.

Samson Racioppi is running as a write-in in the Republican primary for the First Essex District seat representing Merrimack, Newburyport, Salisbury and part of Amesbury

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Samson Racioppi, an organizer of the 2019 Straight Pride Parade in Boston who also attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is running for state representative in Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe reports that Racioppi is running in the Republican primary for the First Essex District seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The seat represents Merrimac, Newburyport, Salisbury and part of Amesbury, four communities located north of Boston near the New Hampshire border.

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He and CJ Fitzwater are both running as write-in candidates after incumbent GOP Rep. James Kelcourse stepped down in June to join the Parole Board.

Kelcourse's name will still appear on the ballot in the Sept. 6 primary. If he receives the most votes, he has the option to withdraw, meaning the final decision on who wins the party's nomination would be determined by an executive committee formed by the Massachusetts Republican Party. However, if one of the write-ins receives the most votes on Sept. 6, they would appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Racioppi is one of the leaders of the group Super Happy Fun America, which organized the 2019 Straight Pride Parade and a pro-police event at the State House a year later. He helped organize buses bringing people to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He attended the event but has said he did not enter the Capitol.

"January 6 was incredible," he told the global news organization Agence France-Presse in 2021.

Republican House Minority Leader Brad Jones told the Globe that choosing Racioppi as the party's nominee would be "a real concern."

“One, it’s not necessarily putting forward the strongest candidate to win the seat in question,” he said. “And two, the fact is that the candidate you choose is potentially a reflection on the party or the entire ticket.”

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