Police investigate threatening letter to Colchester House candidate

Deserae Morin, a Republican candidate for the Chittenden 9-1 House district. Photo from Morin's campaign website.

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Colchester House candidate Deserae Morin received an anonymous letter in the mail to her home address on Friday threatening her with death and rape, according to a statement to the media about the letter from a Colchester resident who said he has been consulting with Morin on her campaign.

A photo of the letter sent out with the statement shows a message constructed out of cut-out letters fixed to a piece of paper.

"We are hunting you. My comrades will kill you and the Constitution," it states.

The letter threatens her with sexual violence. "You will scream and know that agonizing horror," it reads.

"No equal rights for Republicans. Socialism is here. Open season for Republican death in Vermont. Fear our revolution," the letter says. It appears to be signed "AA."

Some of the letters were cut from campaign material Morin hands out, according to Jace Laquerre of a Colchester, who reached out to the media about the letter. Laquerre was a Vermont delegate to the national GOP convention in 2016, as a 17-year-old student at Colchester High School.

"I think it's a reflection of the state of politics in America," Laquerre said Sunday. "It's turned ugly and divisive and partisan and personal."

According to Laquerre, someone claimed responsibility for the letter in a post on Facebook, but it was not clear how credible the claim was. Morin passed that information on to police, he said.

Morin did not immediately respond to requests for an interview Sunday.

The Vermont State Police announced Saturday that they were investigating the threat against Morin. They asked anyone with information about the letter to contact the Williston barracks, at 802-878-7111.

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Jack Moulton, executive director of the Vermont Republican Party, said the party is "thankful" that police are investigating the threat made against Morin.

Moulton said the party is not aware of similar threats made against other GOP candidates.

Speaking before an audience of hundreds at a campaign event at a Williston farm Sunday afternoon, Lt. Governor David Zukerman, a progressive Democrat, condemned the letter.

"It doesn't matter whether it's extreme right, or extreme left, that is not who we are in Vermont," he said.

"We cannot take the energy that's coming out of our president in Washington and allow it taint our water, our spirit and our souls," Zuckerman said. "We are better than that."

Christopher Di Mezzo, communications director for the Vermont Democratic Party, said in an email the party has faith in law enforcement to investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for the threat.

"Threats of political violence fly in the face of our shared values as Vermonters and have no place in our public discourse," he said.

He said the threat is "not tolerable," and likened it to the threats against former Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris, a Democrat. Morris resigned her seat last month, in part citing racially motivated harassment and threats.

Xander Landon contributed reporting.


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