Candidate for Indiana House says she received threatening text message

CICERO, Ind.—A Democratic candidate running for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives says she was on the receiving end of a threat.

Amie Neiling is running in Indiana's 32nd district. “Socialist witch, baby killer, they hope the MAGA train runs me over, that does not bother me,” she said.

She has thick skin. Most names don’t deter her. Except when it’s a threat to kill. “Just I saw it, and I kind of lost my breath,” Neiling said.

The candidate said last week they were sending text message about early voting through an app. She received a response saying, “We’re working on a plan to have this liberal (expletive) assassinated.”

Indiana State Police said they were made aware of harassing communication received by a candidate for state representative.

“It's an ongoing investigation that detectives are looking into the validity and obviously tracking down any potential suspects and/or witnesses,” Sgt. John Perrine said.

It comes as law enforcement in other states investigate suspicious packages addressed to high profile democrats, including Former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

“Not expecting it but not surprised. With the climate going on right now there’s bound to be some kind of activity around elections,” Kathy Guider, a retired FBI special agent, said.

She’s now the vice president of operations for Veracity IIR, a private intelligence, investigation and research firm.

“What you’re gonna see is collaboration among several federal agencies. If the threat is against a sitting president or past president like we saw today, then secret service is most likely gonna be the lead agency on all that but the FBI is gonna be involved as well as other federal agencies as well and they’re all gonna be working together,” Guider said.

Guider said when dealing with campaign security, it goes back to situational awareness and making sure to say something if you see something. She said whether on the national or local level, threat investigations will bring collaborative efforts between agencies.

“I would say always monitoring but yes prior to elections happening within about 2-4 weeks before an election, agencies are gonna stand up a command post, most likely on the federal level and probably the state level and start the intelligence process,” she said.

Neiling’s case is not believed connected to the threats received by high profile Democrats this week.

“It’s really sad that conversation is not there, that  the immediate jump is to violence and eliminating the thing that you think you're against instead of just talking it out,” Neiling said.

She said it’s her understanding the threat she received is not believed credible, but says it’s still not okay.

“They were just trying to be a jerk from what I understand but that doesn't matter,” she said “It wasn't even that they want to kill me or that they want to hurt me or that they want me gone, it was assassinate. And that's a pretty pointed word and it's not funny.”

Neiling said it will not deter her from running. She’s running against incumbent State Rep. Tony Cook.

He released this statement:

“It is deplorable anytime and in any manner in which threats of bodily harm or death are issued, especially when the threats stem from political differences and opinions.  I sympathize with Mrs. Neiling and can relate to her concern, having personally received multiple threatening letters during the time I was the principal that enrolled and supervised Ryan White’s unrestricted admission to public school at Hamilton Heights.  Mrs. Neiling and I have met several times during the campaign, and we have not had, nor will I foster or encourage, an acrimonious relationship.  In fact, the relationship between us has been cordial and civil, focused on our policy stances and approaches when we have debated.  This type of incident is also the reason I do not solicit, push out, or engage in debate or innuendo through social media; too often those who join in or respond quickly turn confrontational and do not want to hear or consider a position other than their own.”

Neiling said she would like to see whoever is responsible ordered to pay a fine to be donated to a women’s shelter.