Yesterday I wrote about a group of Republican candidates in Fargo’s District 44 reporting repeated thefts and vandalism to their campaign advertising to police.
Kate Andersen, the Mayor of Jamestown and a Republican candidate for the state House District 12, read that post and reached out to me about her own incident which happened over the weekend.
“On Saturday, in front of my place of business was postcard with my picture on it that had a target drawn on my face and shot several times,” she told me.
Here’s a photo she sent me of the mailer:
She said she reported the incident, which she described as “threatening and hateful,” to law enforcement. According to a photo she sent me of the resulting police report the Jamestown Police Department will apparently be making extra patrols in that area.
“My employee was really upset and so was I,” Andersen told me.
Prior to this incident she said she’d had some problems with her campaign signs being broken, though she laughed that off as maybe a result of North Dakota’s notorious winds. She said she’s also had problems with people scribbling on some of her campaign signs, blacking out teeth and drawing devil horns and the like.
But she said this last week “when the attack ads started” that things seemed to get a bit more intense. “They’re not violent or threatening or anything,” she said of the ads, “they have created a different atmosphere.”
She told me she wasn’t going to say anything initially about the incident with her mailer – she said she was “sort of embarrassed” about the incident – but said she wanted to get the message out for the sake of other candidates.
“I just want everyone to be safe,” she said.
Every election cycle is contentious, but this one has been more tense than most given what’s going on at the national level. Perhaps this incident can serve to remind us all that the people we disagree with politically are still, you know, people.
Scaring them or threatening them, and certainly hurting them, is unacceptable.