After a bomb threat and arson at the Spokane County Democrats headquarters Wednesday, Washington party officials are calling for leaders to condemn the act.
Mayor Nadine Woodward did not release a statement Wednesday. When asked if the mayor had a statement, her spokesperson Brian Coddington said over email: “No. It’s a law enforcement matter.”
Nicole Bishop, chair of the local Democrats, said she wasn’t at the office Wednesday, but a volunteer told her a man came in and handed her a piece of paper.
He asked the volunteer whether she knew what it meant and she said she didn’t, Bishop said. The man then said, “it’s a manifesto and I have a bomb,” Bishop said.
The volunteer could see wires coming from his bag, Bishop said.
While one volunteer called 911, the man went into another’s office and said he would “blow the place up,” according to a Spokane Police Department news release.
When the man left the building on his own, police detained him. Smoke was billowing from the office, the release said.
The SPD bomb squad did not find an explosive device, but it seemed the man had started a fire, according to the release.
“They’re all physically safe but they’re certainly shaken up,” Bishop said.
Bishop, in a Spokane County Democrats meeting Wednesday, said police had indicated to her the man was acting alone.
“When I say he’s acting alone, I don’t mean he’s acting without influence,” Bishop said.
State Sen. Andy Billig pointed out that government leaders were not quick to condemn the attack.
“It’s not just about the violent rhetoric, it’s about the people who are silent,” Billig said.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement Wednesday evening she was thankful no one was hurt and that “no one should be targeted with violence because of their political beliefs.”
“As I have said many times before, we must all unite in standing against hate and violence of any kind,” she said.
Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs in a statement Wednesday said he condemns “anyone who uses fear and violence to accomplish a political goal.”
“Spokane is stronger than fear,” Beggs said. “Together we stand for peace, justice and a thriving community.”