GOP state rep calls for calm after she was punched while campaigning 'This is not Minnesota'

Rep. Sarah Anderson: “Then he hauls off and he punches me in the arm…”

Paul and Jordana
October 18, 2018 - 8:09 pm

(Mark Vancleave/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

Plymouth State Rep. Sarah Anderson, a Republican,  was going out for a day campaigning on Sunday when she spotted a man damaging one of her campaign signs near her home.

“So I pull over, I go across the street… I confronted him. I say, ‘You can't do that!’ And his immediate response is, ‘I'm an anarchist, I can do whatever I want,” Rep. Anderson said during an interview on WCCO Radio's Paul and Jordana show.

She then says she pulled out her phone to get video of the man and that’s when he first lunged at her and yelled, “Why don't you go kill yourself?”

Anderson said she then got back in her car and noticed the video didn’t record, so she went to a gas station nearby and waited for the man to walk by.

“I get the camera out and he's coming and he sees me. He pulled down his hood and he says, ‘Leave me the f**** alone!’ and then starts to charge at me,” said Anderson.

Anderson said she then tried to get back in her car, but the man was blocking the door from closing and he started screaming at her.

“… he proceeded to put his head into my vehicle and part of his body,” said Anderson. She then says she tried to calm the man down by saying she was leaving, when he lunched toward her and punched her in the arm. 

"Then I'm like, I need to get out of here, so I put the car in gear, put it in reverse, and he got out of the way between the car door so that I could shut it,” Anderson said.

She said Plymouth police know who she confronted and are investigating the incident.

"This is not how things should be, this is not Minnesota. People need to get a grip and be able to have a constructive conversation and agree to disagree on some issues, that's going to happen, but this whole behavior is just not what I expect and not what I want my kid to grow up in," she said. 

When asked what she thought could be done to lower tension in our current political environment, Anderson said that everyone has a role to play. 

"We all bear a responsibility and I think every person, even if you're having a bad day, you need to think about what your words and your actions mean. You need to think about "Would I want my kid to act this way? And if you can have that as your policy, I think that our world will be a better place," she said

Last Friday, Shane Mekeland, a Republican running for a seat in the Minnesota House was sucker punched at a bar in St George Township after a political debate with a patron.