The Democrat trying to unseat Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat in November has apologized to her incumbent rival for the actions of a group of young supporters.
According to WWBT, police believe four high school students left an offensive note on the door of Brat’s home.
His challenger, Abigail Spanberger, has since issued a statement identifying the culprits as canvassers working for her campaign.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the congressman’s campaign shared an image of the election flyer on which someone had written “Rot in hell Dave.”
Spanberger’s campaign acknowledged the incident in a statement confirming the four volunteers responsible have been removed from the campaign.
Statement from our campaign below. pic.twitter.com/1pFxiKxPiN
— Abigail Spanberger (@SpanbergerVA07) October 1, 2018
“Immediately upon hearing that someone had left a handwritten, negative note at Mr. Brat’s house this weekend, we questioned the volunteers who had been canvassing in the area and discovered that four high school students were involved in this incident,” wrote campaign manager Dana Bye.
WWBT cited a police statement confirming juveniles were behind the incident.
“This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and beneath the dignity of this race, and we have already notified these students that they are not welcome to volunteer with our campaign again,” Bye said.
The Brat campaign’s initial message indicated that his children discovered the hateful message.
“This piece of literature was left at the Brat house yesterday by an Abigail Spanberger canvasser and fond by their children,” the campaign said. “In a time of increasing political violence, we take this matter very seriously and have referred it to the authorities. Anyone with information should contact our campaign.”
Spanberger offered an apology for the actions of her campaign volunteers.
“We apologize to Mr. Brat and his family,” her campaign said. “As someone whose personal, confidential information has already been compromised in this course of this campaign, Abigail believes that politics should never threaten the safety and security of any candidate, their family, or their staff.”
A former CIA operations officer, Spanberger previously pushed back against a political action committee that ultimately obtained and released her “unredacted government background files.”
Further illustrating the state of partisan discourse within her race and beyond, Spanberger noted that she has received politically charged threats via social media.
“Take out the terrorist trainer,” one post read
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