Republican congressional candidate Jennifer Carnahan was reportedly threatened and almost hit by a car while campaigning early this week.
Carnahan, 46, was out during a door-to-door campaign on the 1000 block of 1st Street Southeast in Faribault, Minnesota, at around 5:25 p.m. on Tuesday when she encountered a man who “made several threatening comments to her” and hurled vulgarities at her, according to reports.
The man, whom the Korean American candidate described as being between 18 and 20 years old, allegedly swerved his blue Ford Focus at the GOP candidate as she was walking away.
Authorities identified the man and found his home after launching an investigation, Police Chief John Sherwin said. Police have yet to release details about the suspect’s identity and any potential charges as of Wednesday.
They also said they are no longer accepting information from the public about the suspect and his car.
While a verbal exchange did occur, Sherwin told the Pioneer Press that the suspect seemed to deny swerving in Carnahan’s direction on purpose.
“It is a fact that an incident occurred,” Sherwin said. “Obviously, each person has a version of the story. The driving contact as described [by Carnahan] is where the inconsistency occurs.”
A former chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, Carnahan formally announced her plans to run in the special election to represent Minnesota’s first congressional district in March. She hoped to fill the seat of her husband Jim Hagedorn (R, MN-1), who died on Feb. 17 from kidney cancer.
Carnahan, who stepped down as chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota late last year, was embroiled in controversy for her close links to prominent Minnesota GOP donor Anton Lazzaro.
Lazzaro was charged in August 2021 with five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor last year. He is also facing three counts of obstruction.
“I trust that justice will be served, and he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” Carnahan said in a statement, claiming she was unaware of Lazzaro’s alleged actions.