By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There were Minnesotans among the thousands of President Donald Trump loyalists on the United States Capitol grounds during Wednesday’s destructive rally.

Chad Rafdal made the drive from Blooming Prairie to Washington D.C. to be part of this crowd.

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“I woke up Tuesday morning and I didn’t hit the road until about 8:30 a.m., and I drove all the way through by myself,” Rafdal said. “I’m a Donald Trump supporter, but that’s not why I went … I feel like there’s lots of evidence that something’s fishy with this election.”

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When the tone of the rally changed and a mob of rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol, Rafdal chose not to participate.

(credit: Chad Rafdal)

“I’m a little disheartened, I guess a little heartbroken. You know, it just feels icky,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with what I seen, but that wasn’t all that was going on. There was so much peace and, you know, looking out over the whole crowd, and we were singing ‘God Bless America’ and chanting ‘USA.’”

Rafdal was close enough that he and others around him were pepper sprayed, giving him a perspective change on how he hopes those watching from home view him.

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“Just like the riots and stuff this summer in Minneapolis, you know, it’s not everybody was there to cause destruction, so we shouldn’t lump everybody together,” Rafdal said. “I accept how yesterday went. It wasn’t picture perfect. I do think we’ve been heard, I do think some eyes were opened. I mean, you, we never want violence, we never want stuff like that, you know. We got to be able to get together before it gets to that point.”

Marielle Mohs