‘This behavior is unacceptable’ Maine State Official Who Removed Trump from Maine Ballot Is Targeted in Swatting Hoax

Shenna Bellows is the latest politician targeted with swatting, with the incident occurring just one day after she removed former president Donald Trump from Maine’s ballot. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and Florida Senator Rick Scott were among those targeted over the holiday period.

Holiday swatting

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Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’s home was recently swatted while she was away with her family over the holidays, the secretary confirmed on Facebook. The swatting came just one day after she removed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump from Maine’s presidential primary ballot under the US Constitution’s insurrection clause.

A growing problem

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Bellows has become the latest politician to become a target of swatting, the practice of making a phone call to the emergency services with the intention of a large first responder presence, including swat teams, showing up at a residence.

No one home

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Law enforcement officials are investigating the incident, which is reported to have occurred after a man called the Augusta Regional Communication Center to report that he had broken into Bellows’s house. But when Maine State Police arrived at the scene, no one was at the residence.

Bellows won’t be silenced

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“This behavior is unacceptable,” Bellows said in a Facebook post after the incident. “The non-stop threatening communications the people who work for me endured all day yesterday is unacceptable. It’s designed to scare not only me but also others into silence, to send a message. I am so grateful to have such an amazing team of employees at the Department of Secretary of State.”

Calls out the Maine Wire

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“Please encourage those whom you influence to de-escalate the rhetoric. The Maine Wire for example has been posting extraordinarily dehumanizing fake images of me. (Others have posted fake text threads attributed to me; remember that if it doesn’t sound like something I would say, it probably isn’t),” Bellows wrote in her post.

No need for threats

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The state official warned of the potential impacts of those actions, writing: “These dehumanizing images and threatening communications directed at me and people I love are dangerous. We should be able to agree to disagree on important issues without threats and violence.”

It’s not just Bellows

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Several other politicians have been swatting victims over the holiday period. On Christmas Day, Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s home was targeted in a swatting attempt.

The details

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A New York man called the Georgia suicide hotline claiming he had shot his girlfriend at the Georgia Congresswoman’s home and was going to kill himself. Police have said work is underway to identify the caller and build a criminal case.

Greene Affected

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In a post on X, Greene said, “I was swatted this morning on Christmas Day and a few days ago – Thursday, Dec 21st. We received this death threat where this man is saying I will be shot in the head and skinned to make a “parasol” making a reference to Gein, who was a psychopath killer who would make things out of his victims’ skin.”

Threats to her family

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Greene added that the person also threatened to “smash” the heads of her and her boyfriend, Brian Glenn, a far-right television broadcaster, “on a curb.” Greene published screenshots of the text, which named the alleged sender of the message.

Greene targeted

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In August, another New York man was sentenced to three months in prison for some threatening calls to Greene’s office in Washington, DC.

Common occurrence

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Beyond Bellows and Greene, several other high-profile politicians have been swatted, including Boston mayor Michelle Wu, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, and Florida Senator Rick Scott.

Repeated swatting targeting mayor

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Wu told local outlier WBUR that she was “used to it” after several similar incidents in recent months. Rick Scott said his Naples home was swatted on December 27th while he was out with his wife eating a meal.

Trump appeals removals

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Maine follows Colorado as the second state to remove Trump off the ballot. Trump’s campaign has announced the former president’s intention to appeal both decisions, which are expected to be taken to the US Supreme Court.

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