Jeanine Lee Lake, Black Woman Running Against Mike Pence’s Brother For Congress, Reports Racist Threats
The Indiana Democratic Party released a statement condemining the suspected attack on Congressional candidate Jeannine Lee Lake, who is believed to have had shots fired near her over the weekend, following racist threats that have dogged her campaign.
“We stand with Jeannine and against the racist threats deployed to intimidate and silence her," Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said in a statement. "We cannot and will not tolerate this ugly style of coercion and we call on the Indiana Republican Party and Congressman Pence to join us in condemning it. Congressman Pence must stand up and refuse to allow the political discourse to be dragged back to a time when racism was an accepted element. We can and must do better.”
In Indiana, the Muncie Police Department is investigating what witnesses suspect was gunfire targeting Congressional candidate Jeannine Lee Lake, a Black candidate running against Vice President Mike Pence’s brother, Greg Pence, the Associated Press reported.
According to the Muncie Star Press, Lake was in her car, which has her name imprinted on the side, on Thursday night (October 15) in downtown Muncie. She and three other witnesses reported hearing gunfire. One of the witnesses said several bullets may have flown over the candidate’s car.
Shortly after the incident, Lake took to Facebook to have witnesses share what happened. “I’m tired of talking to the local police and not getting anything done,” she said.
Investigators did not immediately find evidence of gunfire at the scene and did not have any suspect.
Lake, who used her platform to call out racism while campaigning, said she has been the target of a series of racist threats against her. She said the harassment has included racist phone messages and packages in the mail, as well as damage to personal property at her home.
“It’s terrifying to me. Now, in the scope of where we’re at with this campaign, in terms of some of the negative things, the harassment that’s happened, I do feel like things are escalating quite a bit,” Lake told the AP.
Lake is the only Black woman in Indiana who is competing for a congressional seat. Pence, the incumbent, is expected to win in the Republican-dominated district. It’s the same office that Vice President Pence held before becoming governor of Indiana and Donald Trump’s running mate.
This racist harassment could force Lake to suspend in-person campaign, she said.