On Thursday, Georgia Republican congressional candidate (6th district) Karen Handel received a suspicious envelope at her home that included a threatening letter and a “white powdery substance.” Similar envelopes were sent to five of her neighbors, as well.
Police were called after one of the neighbors opened the mail. The entire neighborhood was shut down while investigators checked each parcel. The FBI was called to the scene. No injuries have been reported.
A picture of the threatening letter was published to Twitter:
Handel is currently in a contentious campaign against a much younger, Democratic candidate, Jon Osoff. He released a statement after the incident on Thursday stating his campaign has also received threats:
“Our campaign has received a number of threats, some of which have intensified in recent days, and we have reported them to local police as well as taken prudent precautions.
“These recent events speak to the need for a redoubled commitment to civility and unity. The overwhelming majority of Americans want decent and civil political dialogue, and candidates for office and elected leaders must continue to call for calm and unity, even when there are intense differences of opinion.”
Handel was also the subject of an angry Facebook post by GOP Rep. Steve Scalise’s shooter James Hodgkinson within the week before his shooting rampage that targeted Republicans. He said in the post: “Republican Bitch Wants People to Work for Slave Wages, when a Livable Wage is the Only Way to Go! Vote Blue, It’s Right for You!”
“I am aware that the suspect recently made vile comments about me on social media,” Handel said in a statement. “It also appears that the suspect targeted members of Congress specifically because he disagreed with their views.”
Before she received the threatening letter, Handel said, “We should not allow our political differences to escalate to violent attacks. We must all refuse to allow the politics of our country to be defined in this way. Now more than ever, we must unite as a one nation under God. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together in a civil and productive way, even when we disagree.”
So far, having that kind of attitude is not working out. It’s dangerous to be a Republican in America.