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NC Democrats walk out to protest Republican, who said he was at Jan. 6 insurrection, joining House

Donnie Loftis, chairman of CaroMont Health’s board and former Gaston County commissioners...
Donnie Loftis, chairman of CaroMont Health’s board and former Gaston County commissioners chairman.(CaroMont Health via The Charlotte Observer | CaroMont Health via The Charlotte Observer)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 12:38 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Dozens of North Carolina House Democrats left the chamber when Republicans seated a new member who has said he was just outside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection in January.

All but a handful of Democratic caucus members left their desks for the exits as Rep. Donnie Loftis of Gaston County took the oath of office Monday evening.

The former Gaston County commissioner and Army veteran was chosen by local Republican activists this week to succeed the late Rep. Dana Bumgardner.

He says he was peacefully exercising his First Amendment rights, had no involvement in the rioting and categorically condemns the storming of the Capitol.

At least one Democrat said Loftis’ rally participation crossed the line.

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