CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — He lost his bid for Corpus Christi Mayor in November, but now Joe Michael Perez has made it to Washington, D.C. -- as a protester trying to stop the count of Electoral College votes that will officially end President Donald Trump's hopes for a second term.
Perez organized a group of 20 Corpus Christi residents to participate in a march on the Capitol building Wednesday.
“The plan was to make a statement and fill the (Capitol grounds) up," Perez said. "Apparently it got out of hand."
Perez says he didn't actually see protesters storm the Capitol and that all the members of his group stayed outside of the building.
He says he doesn't support the break-in, but he does think it's significant.
“The Capitol was flooded with thousands of patriots," Perez said. "It’s historical in a way on Washington, D.C. grounds. I don’t think that’s ever happened.”
Back in Corpus Christi, news coverage of the D.C. protest replaced sports on the televisions at a few bars.
A customer at House of Rock on Starr Street downtown was appalled at what he was viewing.
“This is the type of thing you see in third world countries," Jerry Howell said. "And here it is in our backyard."
Howell said he'd actually spent much of the day avoiding news coverage of the protest, because he was disappointed that Americans would take such actions.
"This riot to me is essentially an attack on the government," Howell said. "It’s an attack on Americans as people and as a culture."