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A Republican-endorsed Minnesota Senate candidate is facing accusations of condoning political violence after he urged people to grow “teeth” and vote "with a ballot before we have to vote with bullets."

Eagan resident Stephen Lowell, the GOP-endorsed candidate for Minnesota Senate District 52, made those remarks July 30 while speaking at the Dakota County Patriot Block Party, according to the Minnesota Reformer.

“We need to grow our teeth back, fast,” Lowell is recorded saying. “So, part of those teeth in this particular set of terms is voting with a ballot before we have to vote with bullets. Because at the end of the day, when people don’t believe that their elections are stable, they don't believe that police can protect them, they stop using the democratic, of any kind, method." 

His comments come amid growing rhetoric from hard-right Republican candidates who are casting doubt, with little evidence, on the legitimacy of America's election systems, as well as rising calls for violence against government institutions.

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin on Thursday called Lowell’s remarks “violent, dehumanizing, and disturbing” and urged the Minnesota Republican Party to withdraw their endorsement.

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02) also condemned the remarks, calling the statements "horrifying and un-American." 

"I was in the Capitol on Jan 6th, I know firsthand the impact of statements like these," Craig wrote Friday. "I won't stay silent in the face of violent threats against our democracy."

In an interview with NBC News, Lowell cited the French Revolution when addressing the remarks. 

“The purpose of the statement I made was the degree to which societies tend to degrade when people don’t have faith in the government in a very broad and general level,” he told NBC. “At the end of the day, the point is when people don’t feel like their government represents them, countries get very unstable.”

Lowell faces incumbent DFL'er Jim Carlson, who is seeking a fifth term. 

The newly-drawn Senate District 52 spans communities in the southern metro, including portions of Eagan and Mendota Heights. 

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