A few weeks ago, I was co-hosting Jammin 99.3 with David Perkins and I mentioned the emotional environment with some tea party members and their use of handguns at rallies. This is a prime example of emotional rhetoric gone astray. In the Daily News article, Woolard supported his supporter with “his 2nd Amendment Right to carry”. Woolard also stated that politics, in this time of year, gets heated. Woolard said he wants people to be emotional about this election.
This is sad and sickening. I was not with Rep. Butterfield at this particular event, but I was with Rep. Butterfield in Rocky Mount, NC, the first time Butterfield received threats at his DC office. Police were on hand at the Rocky Mount event in an effort to keep the peace.
Butterfield has always downplayed the threats, but make no mistake about it they are real, according to some of his staff. Woolard, in my opinion, was wrong to downplay this incident and support the handgun carrier. By not denouncing the incident as deplorable and unacceptable behavior, Woolard has shown a lack of character and civility unbecoming any would be elected official.
The Washington Police Department was called to the Beaufort County Democratic Party’s election-year headquarters Wednesday afternoon following a reported confrontation between two men.
Volunteers at the headquarters said the confrontation involved a supporter of U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., of Wilson and a supporter of Butterfield’s Republican opponent, Ashley Woolard of Washington.
The Woolard supporter was wearing a holstered gun at the time, the volunteers related.
No one was arrested at the scene, but two police officers were on hand — evidently for security reasons — when Butterfield arrived.
The two men who acknowledged involvement in the incident were questioned by police at the scene.
After the event, the congressman said his campaign had been made aware of the incident prior to his arrival, and that he and his campaign staff had “a very confidential telephone call” with local police.
“And they assured me if I chose to come they would be here and that there would be no disturbance, and they fulfilled their promise,” Butterfield said. “The only thing that we saw was citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Butterfield agreed this type of occurrence was a first for him as an elected official, but he added he knew little about the incident.
“I am a federal official,” Butterfield told the Washington Daily News. “We are always, as members of Congress, as federal officials — we always have to be alert to potential threats.”
Butterfield added he hadn’t felt threatened or considered canceling his campaign appearance, the 20th on a 20-city tour that ended Wednesday.
“I wanted to get the assurance from the Washington Police Department that they would certainly be here and they would provide the security, and they did,” he said.
Carl Albright, a Butterfield supporter, alleged he was shoved by the Woolard supporter outside headquarters, before Butterfield arrived for the campaign event.
Albright indicated he became upset when he saw the Woolard supporter, later identified as campaign volunteer Larry Herwig, with a handgun strapped to his hip.