Congressional Candidates Speak Out After Death Threat Targeting Antrim County Event
“This is not who we are as northern Michiganders.” – Bob Lorinser, Congressional Candidate
A candidate for Congress is on the receiving end of a death threat. The Democrat candidate for Michigan’s first Congressional District says he received a death threat targeting him at a campaign event here in northern Michigan.
Bob Lorinser’s campaign says that threat came last Thursday, and police have been investigating ever since. Lorinser says this threat came in by text message. In fact, it was a reply to a mass-text message sent out by the campaign, alerting people to an upcoming campaign event in Antrim County. Lorinser says, “This was a texting program, a staff member sent it out. You get replies back, some of say ‘yup, we’ll be there, thank you very much.’ Some of them are not so nice. This was a, literally an assassination threat.”
The threatening text (show below) reads – “I am going to assassinate Dr. Bob Lorinser during this event using a Remington .270 rifle from the rooftop of a nearby building, the moment he exits his vehicle.”
Lorinser says, “If you don’t like the text, right, I would hope all you have to end up doing is say STOP, and everybody stops. Instead we got a very specific assassination threat, stating how, when, and where.” Lorinser says it does make him think twice. “It does give you pause. My first thought to this, are we safe?” he says. “I definitely won’t have an event if there’s any threat to the public.”
But he’ll move forward with campaign events. “We have not been advised to change our plans at this point. We will proceed,” he says. “The police and Michigan State Police are giving us advice. If they change their advice we will change our plans. But at this point we are moving forward.”
He’ll be on the road from his home in the Upper Peninsula for several stops in northern lower Michigan. “We have, I think, six different events Wednesday through Sunday…. I’ll be down to multiple different counties… (I’m) looking forward to it,” Lorinser says. “We will move on with the campaign. We will not let this stop us.”
State Police confirm they’re looking into the threat and where it came from. “It’s allegations to them. (But) I got a copy … it’s more than an allegation, right? When you read it…. When, where and how,” Lorinser says.
9&10 reached out to the office of Lorinser’s opponent on the November ballot, current Congressman Jack Bergman. Bergman says he and his staff receive nearly daily threats – and says “I hope the Police fully investigate this alleged threat and the person responsible is held accountable. Republican or Democrat, there’s no room for this sort of behavior in politics…. It’s unacceptable and must be condemned.”
In the meantime it is causing some sleepless nights. “Who are we? What happened to us? I still think about that,” Lorinser says. “Tried to go to sleep at 11 o’clock. Guess what was going through my mind?”
The campaign office says that threat was reported to the Arenac County Sheriff’s Office where the threat was received, but also to the Elk Rapids Police.
Full statement from Congressman Jack Bergman, (R):
“I hope the Police fully investigate this alleged threat and the person responsible is held accountable. Republican or Democrat, there’s no room for this sort of behavior in politics. Unfortunately, this is a reality we deal with regularly – from the baseball shooting to nearly daily threats on myself and staff. It’s unacceptable and must be condemned.” – Lt. General Jack Bergman