A day after a group of Republican congressmen were shot at by a Democratic activist in Virginia, severely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., a GOP congressional candidate has been targeted along with her neighbors by threatening letters calling her a “dirty fascist” and containing a suspicious white-powder substance.
The letters and substance were sent to the Roswell, Georgia, home of Karen Handel, who is running for the District 6 open House seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff. The packages were also sent to several of her neighbors’ homes and to Fox 5 News, the local Fox affiliate in Atlanta, where hazmat inspectors were called in and were on scene most of the afternoon Thursday.
A Fulton County EMS spokesman said, in the “current climate” of tense political rivalry, “every threat is taken seriously.”
The incident comes a day after a politically motivated shooting on Republicans practicing for Thursday night’s congressional charity baseball game.
The letters, described as “threatening and vulgar,” railed against Handel, Republicans and President Trump, according to Fox 5 News.
One neighbor produced a photo of the letter on Twitter that read as follows:
“Your neighbor Karen Handel is a dirty fascist c–t but I’m sure you already knew that. Take a whiff of the powder and join her in the hospital you Bourgeoisie mother-f—–s.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Handel said: “This afternoon we had some suspicious packages delivered to our house and to our neighbors. The packages contained threatening letters and a suspicious substance. The police were quickly notified and street is now being blocked off. We will continue to coordinate with law enforcement as necessary.”
The FBI has been called to the scene.
Handel and Ossoff are locked in a bitterly fought contest for the 6th Congressional Seat in Georgia. National Democrats have poured millions of dollars into Ossoff’s campaign – 97 percent of which is funded by out-of-state donors. Handel is the former secretary of state for Georgia and a former county commissioner from Roswell. Ossoff, who just turned 30 on Feb. 16, touts himself as a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide to Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.
The suspicious package sent to Fox 5 Atlanta had the same postage as the packages sent to Handel’s home and neighborhood, according to police. The white powder sent to Fox 5 underwent a forensic analysis and was determined to be baking soda.
Ossoff released the following statement in response to recent threats of violence against his campaign:
“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.”
However, Fox 5 noted that specific incidents of threats to the Ossoff campaign have not been reported to the station.