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Fayette County state House candidate says he was attacked

Fayette County state House candidate says he was attacked
Fayette County state House candidate says he was attacked 02:29

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) - A week away from Election Day, a state House candidate in Fayette County is recovering after being allegedly attacked.  

Richard Ringer is the Democratic candidate for the 51st District and said he was knocked unconscious outside his own home. 

Two weeks ago, Ringer had a message threatening his campaign sprayed on his garage door. Then last week, he came home to find a rock through this his storm door window. Monday morning, he could hear people trying to get into his house.  

"I looked out the window and I saw flashlights going through the yard. I'm tired of this crap," Ringer said.  

He confronted a person near his garage and tackled them. That person allegedly punched Ringer more than 10 times.  

"Knocked me out. I was unconscious," Ringer said.  

Ringer doesn't know who did this and state police are investigating. He does believe it was targeted. The Democratic Party of Fayette County calls the alleged attack despicable.  

"I personally believe it was political, I truly do," party chairperson George Rattay said. "What happened to Nancy Pelosi's husband happened to one of our candidates."  

There is fear it could stop people from voting or working the polls. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is working to protect poll workers at five locations in the area using Jewish community buildings.  

"It's unfortunate it has to play a role in the upcoming elections, but it's there and we have to be mindful of it," said Shawn Brokos, the federation's director of community security.

Brokos says there are no active threats, but they are working with police. There has been a rise in antisemitism.  

"There is intelligence out there cautioning us that there could be some potential for threats," Brokos said over Zoom.  

As for Ringer, he isn't letting these incidents stop his campaign.  

"Hell no," he said with a smile.  

KDKA-TV reached out to his opponent Charity Grimm Krupa but hasn't heard back.  

According to Allegheny County, they are not aware of any threats against workers.  

The Pennsylvania Department of State sent this statement:  

"In 2020, in large part due to the tremendous efforts of election workers across all 67 counties, Pennsylvania had a free, fair and secure election amid a pandemic and with record high turnout. They deserve our thanks and admiration, but instead, many were subjected to baseless claims, unfair criticism and even threats. It's disturbing that these workers are still experiencing these issues as they prepare for another election cycle. 

"The safety of voters and election workers is a priority. The Department of State takes any reports of intimidation or threats very seriously and will report all threats to the appropriate authorities to thoroughly investigate any allegation brought before them. While we cannot share the details of specific reports of threats, the Department of Justice task force, through the FBI field offices, has shared intelligence, provided training resources on identifying and mitigating threats, and has been responsive to reports received from the department and county officials. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also worked directly with Pennsylvania counties to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments to identify opportunities for counties to enhance their physical and network security posture." 

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