He has not gotten support from the state Republican Party, and Mr. Ciattarelli has tried to distance himself from Mr. Durfee. “Anyone who advocates terrorism, or had anything to do with the insurrection, has no place in our party,” said Chris Russell, a strategist for the Ciattarelli campaign.
Mr. Durfee said he preferred to keep his savings in precious metals based on a worry that paper “fiat money” will eventually be devalued.
“I have dollars for my wife — we all have to live,” he said. “But I save in silver and gold.”
He spent two years in the Marines in noncombat roles. After earning his G.E.D., he took classes in computer programming at Chubb Institute. Last year, he lost a race for Northvale councilman.
A grandfather of three who opposes abortion, he is an ardent Catholic and a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a rank given for patriotism.
“I’m not this ogre that’s hiding behind the fence — ‘Oh, here comes one of them Democrats. Let’s jump on them,’” he said.
Mr. Durfee participated in a videoconference with the Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, and dozens of other members 10 days after the 2020 election, according to a leaked recording of the call released by Unicorn Riot, an alternative media site. As speakers discussed upcoming protests in Washington, Mr. Durfee can be heard urging people to “show the respect that we have for our country and our Constitution.”
“We’re not coming down there with fisticuffs, unless, you know,” he said, his voice trailing off.
“We’re all eager to be overzealous,” he added, “but we still have to maintain that position of respect for our flag and for our country.”