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Iowa Democratic Party chair receives threats after writing opinion piece critical of Donald Trump

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 1:05 PM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - The chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Ross Wilburn, said he received multiple threats, including one threat of lynching, over an opinion piece he wrote for the Des Moines Register that was critical of former President Donald Trump.

Wilburn is a state representative from Ames and the Iowa Democratic Party’s first Black chair. Ames Police are investigating the threats.

The Des Moines Register reports the threats came in the form of phone messages and an email, each of which reference the article.

The opinion piece was titled, “Iowa Republicans put loyalty to Trump over helping Iowans.” It was published earlier this month.

Wilburn said the voicemails he received in response to it included very explicit language.

“What stood out this time was the language that was used — specifically, the very direct statement about lynching,” Wilburn said. “And I get angry about that — that people feel that they can come in and make you feel less than human, subhuman, with that type of reference to lynching. There’s the history behind that and trying to intimidate Blacks, intimidate African Americans.”

Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann released a statement condemning the threats and showing support for Wilburn.

“We can have a spirited debate on issues and candidates without threats of violence,” Kaufmann said in a statement released to the Des Moines Register. “I am pleased the authorities are looking into this and hope those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

If the people responsible are caught, Wilburn said he plans to press charges.

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