A Newton City Council candidate recently became the target of a harassment campaign and a death threat from “right-wing extremists” and supporters of President Trump after her campaign posted a message supporting city residents’ voice in the use of resources, she said Wednesday.
Madeline Ranalli said in a statement that those who attacked her “deliberately misrepresented my campaign positions on public safety, took old social media posts out of context, and spread disinformation claiming that I ‘hate’ police officers.”
Then, on Saturday, she “received a death threat from a member of a group that had been planning to confront me at my home,” Ranalli said.
She did not give any further detail in her statement, and she declined an interview request.
“As I move forward from these events, I want to state emphatically that this is not how we should conduct our politics,” Ranalli said. “It is one thing to have differing opinions ― and respect for opinions different from our own is an essential cornerstone of American democracy — but the recent attack on the US Capitol demonstrates clearly that the politics of intimidation and violence has no place in our democratic process.”
Ranalli will compete in a March 16 special election against John Oliver for the Ward 1 councilor-at-large seat.
Ranalli said she has temporarily disabled comments on her social media accounts and has removed some previous posts for the safety of herself and her family.
She thanked the Newton police “for their diligence and professionalism in investigating this threat and for providing protection for me and my family.” She said that while she supports police reform, she also wants to provide officers with “the tools they need to pursue a problem-solving approach to public safety” and to work with law enforcement to improve public safety.
Newton police could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.