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Leader Sykes: "Republicans are playing a dangerous game"

Calls on Republicans from the Statehouse to the White House to denounce hate and violence
October 8, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

COLUMBUS—Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement today following news reports that six men were charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. According to the FBI, the initial plans were hatched here in Ohio.  

This news follows other recent violent threats aimed at Democratic elected officials here in Ohio. In May, a man called Leader Sykes from her father State Senator Vernon Sykes’ (D-Akron) phone number saying he had her father and demanded she “step aside” or else he would kill him. Other House Democratic lawmakers have also received threats in recent months. Reps. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Joe Miller (D-Amherst) have spoken out on social media about the death threats they have received for wanting common sense gun reform.

Additionally, Dr. Amy Acton received backlash, anti-Semitic insults and threats during her time as the state’s public health director. The most public attacks against her were launched by several members of the House Republican caucus.

“Republicans from the Statehouse to the White House are playing a dangerous game,” Leader Sykes said. “When you use violent rhetoric, you incite violence. It is only a matter of time before someone is hurt or God forbid, killed.

My heart breaks for Governor Whitmer who was the focus of a conspiracy to attack her merely for doing her job. I applaud the FBI and law enforcement who stopped this plot before the terrorists were able to carry out their evil plan. I wish her strength and perseverance because we need strong women like her in elected office.”