Michigan governor candidate Ryan Kelley pleads not guilty to Jan. 6 charges

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Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley entered not guilty pleas Thursday to four misdemeanor charges arising from his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021,  riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Judge Christopher Cooper of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia set a Sept. 22 status conference as the next hearing in the case.

Ryan Kelley
Ryan Kelley

Kelley appeared by video with his attorney, Gary Springstead of Fremont, Michigan, who announced the "not guilty" pleas on Kelley's behalf.

Kelley is charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct, knowingly engaging in an act of physical violence against a person or property, and willfully injuring property, according to a criminal complaint.

Generally, all of those misdemeanors carry penalties of up to one year in prison and fines of up to $100,000 on each charge.

More: Judge orders GOP candidate Ryan Kelley to surrender his guns, over his objections

More: GOP candidates for governor reject further gun control, despite rash of mass shootings

During a candidate debate Wednesday night, Kelley described his June 9 arrest during an FBI raid of his home in Allendale, in Ottawa County, as a "big theater show," and said he was exercising his First Amendment rights at the U.S. Capitol.

Earlier, Kelley was arraigned by video in front of a U.S. magistrate judge, who ordered him, over his objections, to surrender his firearms as a condition of his release.

Kelley, a real estate agent, is one of five Republican candidates for governor on the Aug. 2 primary ballot. The others are Norton Shores businesswoman Tudor Dixon, Oakland County businessman Kevin Rinke, Kalamazoo chiropractor Garrett Soldano and Farmington Hills pastor Ralph Rebandt. Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is not on the ballot but is running as a write-in candidate.

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan governor candidate Ryan Kelley pleads not guilty to charges