For Female Candidates, Harassment and Threats Come Every Day

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Someone crept onto her property overnight and put up a “for sale” sign. The neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer published an article (no longer available) titled, as Ms. Weaver recalled it, “Meet the Whore Who’s Running Against Steve King,” increasing what was already an onslaught of threats. An acquaintance in the German government even called to warn her about a threatening conversation on an extremist message board, and to ask if she had personal security.

“I’m normally a pretty brave person, but when you feel like you’re in a fishbowl and you don’t know who it is that’s throwing rocks at you, it’s disconcerting,” Ms. Weaver, 53, said. “You don’t know if it’s somebody sitting in his mother’s basement in Florida or if it’s a gun-happy white supremacist who hates you who lives a block away.”

When she withdrew from the race, Mr. King suggested she had made up the threats. “I wanted #KimWeaver IN the race — not out,” he tweeted. “Democrats drove her out of the race — not R’s. Death threats likely didn’t happen but a fabrication.”

No independent organization appears to formally track incidents of harassment, and the Democratic and Republican National Committees did not respond to emails asking whether they did. But several groups that work with candidates said they routinely provided personal safety training.

Emily Ellsworth, 31, a Utah Republican, said that when she was seeking party delegates’ support to get on the ballot for the State Senate this year, a male delegate cornered her at multiple candidate meet-and-greets and messaged her around a dozen times on Facebook. Only after she deactivated her account did he stop.

The messages were not sexually explicit, she said, but made her feel that “he really wanted to push a more personal relationship and had a hard time accepting the boundaries I had set.”

Morgan Zegers, 21, a Republican running for State Assembly in upstate New York, said she had been called a “G.O.P. Stepford wife” and often had to delete vulgar comments on her Facebook page. Lauren Underwood, 31, a Democratic House candidate in Illinois, recalled that when she was visiting a supporter, a local Republican stopped by and was affronted when he learned that Ms. Underwood was challenging his friend in Congress.

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