Henderson County protects Cawthorn after threats

Henderson County Sheriff's Office patrol car
ON PATROL: The Henderson County Sheriff's Office has deployed a vehicle outside Madison Cawthorn's residence in response to threats made against the N.C. District 11 candidate. Photo courtesy of the HCSO

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has deployed a vehicle outside the Hendersonville residence of Madison Cawthorn, the Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, in response to “specific threats” made against the politician. Maj. Frank Stout, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, confirmed that presence in a Sept. 8 conversation with Xpress.

Stout declined to provide additional information about the threats or their credibility, citing his office’s ongoing investigation. However, he said that he’d observed “a lot of hostility in the campaign this year” on social media — more so than in prior election cycles.

“With the protests and with social media with everything that’s going along, you’ve got certain individuals that appear to be more active, we’ll say, with the social media and the things that are said,” Stout explained. “They’re brave and they’re brazen behind the keyboard. We have to take these threats seriously, especially if they’re directed personally.”

No additional taxpayer funds are being expended to provide security for Cawthorn, Stout said. He emphasized that the HCSO commonly offers protection for residents who have been the target of threats and that “this is not about politics in any way.”

Aaron Sarver, spokesperson for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, said that he was not aware of any similar threats against Moe Davis, Cawthorn’s opponent in the House race, who lives in the Riceville community. Sarver added that the BCSO has “not brought any charges against individuals making threats to local political candidates” since Sheriff Quentin Miller took office in December 2018.

The law enforcement presence for Cawthorn comes as his campaign has criticized Davis’s own language on social media. On Sept. 8, Cawthorn blasted a 2019 tweet from Davis in which the Democrat used violent imagery to advocate for the defeat of the state Republican Party.

“When @NCGOP extremists go low, we stomp their scrawny pasty necks with our heels, and once you hear the sound of a crisp snap, you grind your heel hard and twist it slowly side to side for good measure,” Davis wrote.

“Tough debates about our records and positions are fair game, but advocating violence against those who disagree with you is disgraceful and dangerous,” Cawthorn argued in a tweet quoting Davis’s earlier remarks. “I denounce political violence in any form and encourage my opponent to renounce this statement.”

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Sept. 9, Davis’s campaign issued a response: “This election is not about salty tweets from the past; it’s about the future of Western North Carolina, from healthcare to education, broadband, the environment, Social Security, Medicare and the Post Office. Our future.”

Davis himself provided additional context about his Sept. 2019 remark through a series of tweets on Sept. 11. “It was a year ago today that I wrote the tweet that has my #NC11 opponent clutching his pearls. That was the day the NCGOP-led legislature held a vote to override a veto after telling Dems there would be no votes. It was a day after the NC 9 special election that resulted from NCGOP voting fraud.” he wrote. “So my point was Dems have to quit trying to ‘go high’ while the NCGOP habitually lies, cheats and steals to fight the tide of demographics and democracy. Dems have to fight back … and I am.”

With additional reporting by Molly Horak

Updated at 3:49 p.m. on Sept. 11 to provide additional comment from Moe Davis

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About Daniel Walton
Daniel Walton is the Assistant Editor of Mountain Xpress, regularly contributing to coverage of Western North Carolina's government, environment and health care. His work has previously appeared in Capital at Play, Edible Asheville, and the Citizen-Times, among other area publications. Follow me @DanielWWalton

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18 thoughts on “Henderson County protects Cawthorn after threats

  1. bsummers

    However, he said that he’d observed “a lot of hostility in the campaign this year” on social media — more so than in prior election cycles.

    Gosh, I wonder what’s causing that?

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    • Not your friend

      The tolerant left. Portland would be your capital if your looking for reference.

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      • James

        Remind us how many real Americans you people have killed at protests again? I count at least one by car and two by gun for openers.

  2. luther blissett

    Weird how he and HCSO don’t think his Assault Rifle 15 (as pictured in all those campaign photos) is sufficient.

    (But seriously: if people are making credible threats they need to be tracked down, and anyone thinking of doing so ought to take a good look at themselves.)

    • G Man

      AR 15 (or AR 14 if you’re a Biden follower) does not equal Assault Rifle, but nice try, again. You keep telling yourself those lies and we’ll keep not believing them.

      It wouldn’t be weird at all if there weren’t so many rubes who think that everyone who owns a legal firearm is some kind of crazed killer. In fact, I find it to be much the opposite. Most folks who own legal firearms tend to use them as a very last resort for defense and actually do not go looking for violence, as opposed to those Biden supporters we keep watching on TV, exercising their Burn Loot Murder rights.

      • luther blissett

        (“Assault Rifle 15” is a small joke about the type of gun owners who get more irate about terminology — e.g. “clip” for “magazine” — than school shootings. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/ar-15-stands-for )

        “The Second Amendment was not written so we can go hunting or have a sporting rifle. It was so that we could be able to defend our families and defend ourselves from a tyrannical government.” — Madison Cawthorn last week.

        “I’ve got my Glock on me at all times, ready to defend myself and my constitutional rights.” — Madison Cawthorn in June to WKRK in Murphy.

        [shrugs]

        • G Man

          Well, that was fun. I told you before, I don’t do Twitter (or facebook), so I guess I missed out on all that.

          My biggest issue with his statement there is the phrase “Constitutional rights”. One, because it should be capitalized when referring to the US Constitution, and two, because the Constitution does not give us any rights, it only recognizes those rights that are natural (God-given) and self-evident, and the document is a social contract between a government and citizens to protect those rights and not to infringe upon them.

          • luther blissett

            This could go way off-topic into a Political Philosophy 1650-1800 class on the invention of natural rights and the evidence behind what’s held to be self-evident, but anyway.

            Cawthorn’s rhetoric, which is fairly boilerplate, muddles together the symbolic importance of gun ownership — ongoing proof that the government cannot disarm me — and the practical capacity to open fire when necessary. In practice, a firearm (kept or used) won’t protect you against an unreasonable search or seizure. In practice, a Glock doesn’t defend yourself against unequal protection of the laws. What’s it for, then?

          • G Man

            Are you seriously asking what a firearm is for?

            Do you really think people do not have a natural right to self defense?

            There are events on a daily basis where a crime is avoided or stopped by the use of a legal firearm. I don’t even feel the least bit inclined to try to convince you to stop lying to yourself if you believe otherwise.

            The most basic evidence of such things is the fact that this country exists. If common people weren’t able to defend themselves against government, we wouldn’t have any dentists.

            I find your indoctrination less than impressive. If you have a problem with what this country is meant to represent and/or how and why it was founded, then keep in mind that there are no barriers keeping you here.

  3. Curious

    Is Moe Davis really posting the incendiary remarks that Tim Peck links to?

  4. HendoHendo

    Still waiting for someone in Henderson County to tell us how and why there is a campaign event “open to the public” at Point Lookout Vineyards today, when there is a state-wide limit of 50 people for outdoor gatherings. It happened earlier in the week in Winston Salem, and no one blinked an eye? Why is HCSO letting this happen today in our community?

    • According to Henderson County Health Director Steve Smith, “activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights” such as political campaign events are exempt from all requirements of state and local executive orders. Therefore, Henderson County Public Health has taken no action and plans to take no action against campaign events at Point Lookout Vineyard.

  5. David Joe Miller

    I firmly believe that is a hoax, fabricated by little madison’s posse. There were absolutely no credible threats, even if there were threats, little madison is heavily armed, right? Plus, he’s got his mama!

    • dub

      Absolutely. Cops lie all the time, and this is just to stir up fear in conservative boomers scrollings facebook.

    • bsummers

      And I’m not sure who this is supposed to appeal to. I dare you to scroll down and look at each photo of Madison Cawthorn.

      https://www.bibleclass123.com/a-bright-light-madison-cawthorn-for-congress/

      XPress only allows two links per comment, so I can’t post all of these here. But you can go to the first one and look at all of them. Whoever “Ken” is, he really likes him some Madison Cawthorn.

      A Blessed Man Shall Prosper Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Bright Light Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Certain Day Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Chosen Vessel and A Good Fighter Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A City at Capitol Hill Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A City on a Hill Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Clay Vessel of Honor Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Clay Workmanship Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Creative Man Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Day Ahead Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Day by Day Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Desire to Journey Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Far Away Journey Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Going Forward Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good and Faithful Servant Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Fighter Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Leader for Men Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Leader of Men Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Leader to Men Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Man Madison Cawthorn for Congress
      A Good Servant Madison Cawthorn for Congress

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