Watch CBS News

Michigan GOP nixes election night party after female staff member threatened, party says

What's at stake in Michigan primaries
Voters head to the polls in Michigan primaries 05:26

Washington — The Michigan Republican Party canceled a watch party for the state's primary election results after a female staff member was verbally assaulted at the party's headquarters Tuesday morning, the state GOP said.

Gustavo Portela, communications director for the Michigan GOP, said the state party received "several" death threats this week, but the warnings reached a tipping point the morning of the primaries when the party's headquarters in Lansing received threats from a bystander who, in addition to verbally assaulting the staff member, threatened to shoot up the building and burn it down.

"It's unfortunate that members of the opposite party would seize on this and joke about the situation, but this is the type of politics they play nowadays," Portela said in a statement. "Our party won't be deterred, and we will continue to work tirelessly for Republican policies despite on-going threats. No type of violence against women should ever be tolerated."

The Michigan GOP filed a police report about the incident with the Lansing Police Department, it said.

Portela told CBS News that the unidentified suspect had previously been outside the party's headquarters taking photographs. A "Unity Reception" for the state's gubernatorial candidates set for Wednesday is expected to proceed, though with additional security, he said.

Michigan voters are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide the Republican who will take on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November's general election. In the state's 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican, is fighting to win his primary against John Gibbs after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump for incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Gibbs served in the Trump administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.