Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA-07) posted a picture on Facebook late Sunday night of a flier left at his Henrico home that appeared to be from the campaign of his opponent Abigail Spanberger (D). The flier had a personalized message for the Congressman, with the handwritten words “Rot in hell Dave” scribbled on it.
According to the Dave Brat Facebook page, the flier was found by his children. Brat’s spokeswoman Katey Price released the following statement:
“Abigail Spanberger and her campaign are trying to intimidate Congressman Brat and his family in their own home. Abigail Spanberger should denounce the outrageous actions of her own team and dismiss the people involved. She should also issue an apology to the Brat family.
“Spanberger is claiming to run a campaign about ‘civility’ and at the same time her campaign is sending her team to Dave Brat’s house to intimidate his family. This is politics at its worst,” said Price.
Spanberger’s campaign manager Dana Bye issued the following statement:
“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. 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.”
“We apologize to Mr. Brat and his family. As someone whose personal, confidential information has already been compromised in the course of this campaign, Abigail believes that politics should never threaten the safety and security of any candidate, their family, or their staff.”
The Spanberger campaign had over 100 volunteers in the area knocking doors that day. Congressman Brat’s house was not included in the packet that the campaign provided for the volunteers. The four high school students veered away from their assigned addresses to leave the flier at Brat’s home.
The VA-07 election has been ruled a toss-up by multiple political analysts. The district has been reliably-red for decades, but recent redistricting paired with multiple political movements since 2016 has put the district in play for Democrats.
With politics as divisive as ever, it has not been absent from this election. Congressman Brat has cut down on public appearances due to protestors, and the Spanberger campaign recently filed a police report after receiving online threats in early September when someone threatened to “take out the terrorist trainer”.
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