Skip to main content

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. 

Next Up

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.

image

Gallery: Sprawling estate near Superior National Forest listed for $2.9M

The property has been in the same family for over 60 years.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.

image

Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

MissingBemidjiTeenBCA

Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.

PacoAndLime

Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.

0

New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.

MadelynHowardMugMonroeCo

Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.

Related

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP endorses attorney general, secretary of state candidates

Kim Crockett was endorsed as the party's candidate for secretary of state, while Jim Schultz won the endorsement for attorney general.

kim crockett facebook sos

GOP nominee questions if those with disabilities, non-English speakers should be able to vote

Crockett made the comments in a 2020 radio interview following a ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

rich stanek governor video screengrab

GOP governor candidate Rich Stanek injured in crash

The crash happened as Stanek was exiting a church parking lot in Buffalo Tuesday evening.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.29.03 AM

Former state senator Scott Jensen endorsed by GOP for governor

Jensen beat to multiple other hopefuls for the endorsement at Saturday's convention.