Democrats on Thursday accused a Republican-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Senate of condoning political violence, when he talked about the need for “voting with the ballot before we have to vote with bullets.”
The candidate, Stephen Lowell, countered that he wasn’t advocating violence but instead simply warning about what can happen when people lose faith in their government.
Video posted on his campaign social media and recirculated by the state Democratic Party showed Lowell, of Eagan, making the remarks last month at a Dakota County Patriots event.
“We need to grow our teeth back. Fast,” Lowell told the crowd. “So, part of those teeth, in this particular set of terms, is voting with the ballot before we have to vote with bullets. Because at the end of the day, when people don’t believe that their elections are stable, they don’t believe that police will protect them, they stop using the democratic, of any kind, method. … And so we have to bring back that faith, and we have to come out and vote.”
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin denounced Lowell’s remarks as “violent” and “dehumanizing” and called on Republicans to send a strong signal that such rhetoric won’t be tolerated.