Vermont politicians react to death threat

Published: Oct. 14, 2018 at 10:10 PM EDT
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Colchester resident Deserae Morin is still in shock after receiving a death threat.

The republican candidate for the Vermont House says she got a letter in the mail detailing a plot to rape and kill her.

Now she is getting support from both sides of the political aisle.

“I know it's somebody that on some level I’ve made contact with, and I think that's like the scariest part,” Morin said.

Frustration, confusion and online backlash. Deserae Morin received a graphic threat against her and the GOP on Friday.

“That's what we’re seeing now, at this point, you have a different ideology that's enough for me to aggressively attack you,” she said.

Morin says it speaks to the political divide in the country. Her post featuring the threat on Facebook tells the story of the polarization. It has over one thousand comments and shares as of Sunday evening.

“The stuff I'm dealing with now, is not helping,” said Morin.

She’s receiving guidance from the Republican Party, including from Chittenden County GOP Chair Mike Donohue.

“That's one of the worst [threats] I've seen go to an individual candidate,” Donohue said.

Donohue says it's a tough time period for politics and social media is making it worse. He believes there's hostility on both sides.

“It's kind of disturbing to see at the national level, some on the other side adapt language they normally wouldn't use in pursuit of where they think the energy is and that of course applies to our side of the aisle as well,” he said.

“Death threats and vitriol seems to be part of our debate. We're better than that,” said Christine Hallquist, democrat for Vermont Governor.

Since winning the democratic nomination for Governor back in August, Hallquist says she too has been a victim. The first ever transgender major party candidate for governor says her campaign staff has seen threats on Facebook, Twitter and over the phone.

“We all have the same goals, so I'm not sure what this political division means,” she said.

Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, P/D-Vermont, calls the threats distressing.“We need to make sure everybody feels safe to speak their views no matter what direction their views are,” Zuckerman said.

Vermont State Police are investigating the case. Morin says she’s meeting with investigators again this week to further discuss the threat.