Whitney Whitis, who called 911 on Monday night, reportedly began noticing suspicious individuals stalking her outside her Cincinnati home since Jan. 29, two days after Pureval announced his intention to run to donors on Jan. 27, reports the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Pureval, currently serving as the Hamilton County clerk of courts, changed his voting address to downtown on Jan. 30, a day before he made his official announcement to run for the 1st congressional district on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Whitis has put the previous house, where she was allegedly stalked, up for sale.
“Someone’s knocking on the door, and I don’t recognize who it is,” Whitis told a 911 operator. “I think they’re trying to get in.”
According to the Cincinnati police, it was Pureval who filed a report at around 8:50 p.m. on Monday, noting that the nature of the incidents may be political.
“Since the reportee has announced intentions to run for political office, unknown suspects engaged in a pattern of conduct that has caused mental distress to the listed victim,” states the police report.
“Suspects are sitting outside the victim’s house at all hours of the day, attempting to photograph the victim, and have come onto the victim’s property banging loudly on the door, yelling at the victim, and attempting to photograph through the windows.”
The police are still investigating the incidents which have categorized the case as “menacing and stalking.”
Candidates in hotly contested races are reportedly known to use “trackers” who are tasked to hang around places where opponents frequent, in an attempt to capture unflattering moments similar to paparazzi during the campaign.
Born to an Indian father and a Tibetan mother, both of whom are immigrants, in southwest Ohio, 35-year-old Pureval faces a tough opponent in Chabot who has not lost a Congressional race since 2008.
Chabot’s campaign team, which has indicated that it is going to make an issue of Pureval’s residency, reportedly deployed volunteers watching Pureval’s home in Hyde Park last week. It is important to note that a congressional candidate is not required to live in the district.
While Chabot campaign spokesman Cody Rizzuto admitted that they had volunteers checking to see if Pureval still lived in his house as of Thursday, Feb. 1, he denies that the stalkers in the police report were theirs.
“No campaign in their right mind would engage in that kind of behavior,” Rizzuto was quoted as saying. “That’s way over the line.”