Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) was first sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2021, serving California’s 8th Congressional District. He ran for his second term in 2022 with Trump’s endorsement, and after redistricting, won in the Republican-leaning 23rd district.
Obernolte was previously a member of the California State Assembly from 2014–20 and before that served two terms as mayor of Big Bear Lake, California, where he lives. In the private sector, he runs FarSight Studios, a family-friendly video game development company.
After the 2020 presidential election, Obernolte adhered to the GOP playbook by casting doubt on the legitimacy of Biden’s electoral victory. He voted against certifying the Electoral College results, impeaching Trump for inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol, and establishing a special House committee to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
January 6, 2021
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Obernolte joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.
- Obernolte voted against impeaching Trump for his role in instigating the attack on Congress and the Capitol Police, and for fanning the flames once the riot broke out. He argued that “conducting an impeachment trial against a President who will leave office in a matter of days and long before the Senate trial is completed will only divide our nation further.”
- Obernolte voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the genesis of the violent assault on the Capitol and disruption of the congressional procedure underway that day.
The Big Lie
- On Dec. 15, 2020, Obernolte and 25 other House members-elect signed a letter calling on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to investigate irregularities in the November presidential election.
- In objecting to the certification of the 2020 Electoral College results, Obernolte explained a year later that he has “serious constitutional reservations about the things that happened in [Arizona and Pennsylvania]. And ironically, no one disputes the things I object to.”