February 22, 2024

Washington – The Michigan Republican Party has canceled a viewing party for the state’s primary election results after a female staff member was verbally assaulted at party headquarters Tuesday morning, the state GOP said.

Gustavo Portela, communications director for the Michigan GOP; he said the state party has received “several” death threats this week, but the warnings reached a tipping point on the morning of the primary when the party’s headquarters in Lansing received threats from a bystander who, in addition to verbally attacking the staff member, threatened to shoot the building and burn it down.

“It is unfortunate that members of the opposite party are taking advantage of this and making jokes about the situation, but this is the kind of politics they are playing today,” Portela said in a statement. “Our party will not be deterred and we will continue to work tirelessly for Republican policies despite continued threats. No type of violence against women should ever be tolerated.”

The Michigan GOP filed a police report about the incident with the Lansing Police Department, he said.

Portela told CBS News that the unidentified suspect had previously been outside party headquarters being photographed. A “Unity Reception” for the state’s gubernatorial candidates set for Wednesday is expected to go ahead, albeit with added security, he said.

Michigan voters are heading to the polls Tuesday for the Republican to decide who will face Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary, in the November general election. In the state’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican, is fighting to win his primary against John Gibbs after he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. Gibbs served in the Trump administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report

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