Wayne – A former West Virginia House of Delegates member is considering a congressional bid.
Ex-delegate Derrick Evans of Wayne served only briefly in the House before resigning to accept a federal plea deal in February 2021.
Evans, a freshman Republican elected to represent a district that included much of Wayne County, was sentenced to prison time for taking part in the U.S. Capitol rally led by then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021. He was released from his three-month prison term about a month ago.
Evans was and is an outspoken conservative. I’m 100% MAGA (Make America Great Again),” Evans told wvstatewide.com in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning.
MAGA is the acronym used by Trump as his campaign slogan. “I’m 100% for President Trump as well,” said the former Delegate. Trump has announced his candidacy for re-election in 2024.
Similar to Trump, Evans used social media posts to identify his firebrand approach to conservative issues.
“President Trump is the only one who ever stood up for us,” said Evans. “He asked us to stand with him on January 6 after they stole the election. I felt an obligation to do that.”
Liberals and Democrats have branded the rally as a “riot” and “insurrection” despite calls for peace by Trump on the day of the incident.
Evans further maintained that he was not permitted to screen a video of his own that would have shown him “talking pleasantly to Capitol police and urging those with me to be calm and peaceful.” (See below)
Because of the odds stacked against him, Evans said he took the advice of legal counsel and pleaded guilty to one count.
“I was the highest ranking Republican (Delegate) the Department of Justice could get,” he said. “They weren’t about to let me go.”
Evans said he managed his jail time, after resigning his House seat as part of his plea agreement, talking by phone with his family members in the mornings and reading some of the “thousands of letters of support” he received by mail and electronically.”
When asked to describe the prison time, Evans would only respond, “unbelievable. That’s all. Unbelievable.”
The thousands of support letters are what led Evans to announce the formation of an exploratory Congressional committee.
“People I’ll never even meet are praising me for what I stood up for,” Evans said. “They say I’m needed in Congress.”
Evans has racked up a huge social media following with over 100,000 followers on Donald Trump’s Truth Social Network.
With Congressional redistricting, Evans would be running in the district now served by veteran Republican Congresswoman Carol Miller of Huntington.
“I’m not running against Carol Miller,” he said. “I’m running FOR all those folks who’ve told me they need someone to stand up for them in Congress.”
Evans said taking the final step of actually filing against Miller is not a done deal. “For one thing, I’ve put out feelers asking if she’s running again and have yet to get an answer. Second, I’m going to explore what kind of support I have. I won’t run unless I can win.”
Evans posted on the social media site Truth Social that he has been “released from captivity” and is on his way back home to West Virginia. A spokesperson for Evans confirmed that to us Friday night.
In March, Evans pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder in connection with the activity at the Capitol. He was sentenced in June to three months in prison