The Potluck

Republican Senate candidate says people may ‘have to vote with bullets’

By: - August 18, 2022 6:06 pm

A screen shot captured from video of Stephen Lowell speaking at the Dakota County Patriot Block Party on July 30.

In a speech about voting and trust in elections, a Minnesota Senate candidate said people need to “grow teeth” by “voting with a ballot before we have to vote with bullets.” 

Stephen Lowell, the GOP-endorsed candidate for Minnesota Senate District 52, said Republicans should vote in droves, comparing the turnout needed to the number of protesters who demonstrated in the Twin Cities after George Floyd’s police murder in 2020.

“We have to vote just like they’re throwing Molotovs up in Uptown. We have to vote just like they burned down buildings… We have to vote as hard as they went out and did that,” Lowell said.

Lowell made the remarks in a July 30 speech in Rosemount at the Dakota County Patriot Summer Block Party.

Lowell doubled down on his comment on Thursday. “Absolutely,” he said in a quote retweet of the video.

An event flier said Republican secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett and Tyler Kistner, Republican candidate running for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, also attended the event.

Senate District 52 covers southeastern Twin Cities suburbs, including Eagan, Mendota Heights, Mendota and some of Burnsville.

Lowell also described how he attended the 2020 Floyd protests and riots with “strapped-on plates and a rifle” and helped protect a tobacco shop near Minneapolis’ Third Precinct after he saw the business owners trying to shoo away protesters.

“It was one of the most saddening things I’d ever seen,” Lowell said.

Later in his speech, Lowell said he’s not afraid to make enemies to change Minnesota’s laws.

“I’m more than happy to lay waste to whatever comes my way,” Lowell said.

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Michelle Griffith
Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith covers Minnesota politics and policy for the Reformer, with a focus on marginalized communities. Most recently she was a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota where she covered state and local government and Indigenous issues. For two years she was also a corps member with Report for America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms and news deserts. She lives in St. Paul and likes to knit and watch documentaries in her free time.