The COVID-19 pandemic has caused emotions to run high in the midst of an era that was already fraught with partisan divisions and in some cases outright hatred. This intensification of already acute political rancor seems to have caught up a State Senate candidate who engaged in a social media back-and-forth that may have done real damage to what was already an underdog campaign.
With emotions running high in an already politically tense moment surrounding the re-opening of North Carolina Republican State Senate candidate Sev Palacios engaged in a heated Twitter exchange that has drawn the condemnation of a Democratic women’s group. The exchange began when a woman who has, “#F***Trump,” in her profile, referred to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest as an “a*****e,” and suggested that, “idiocy comes with the territory,” for Republicans. Palacios—a Republican from Hoke County who is running for Senate District 21, currently held by Sen. Ben Clark (D)—responded by calling her a “liberal twit,” and a “token dumb blonde.”
From there the discussion devolved further into partisan animosity as a man responded that he hoped Palacios contracted COVID-19 because, “we don’t need another GOP senator.” At this point a person with the username “Angry Naval Officer ©,” and the Twitter handle “@BlueGhost40_” weighed in with a photo of Palacios wearing a rabbit nose face mask. This inspired Palacios—a former Army officer—to seemingly attack Navy veterans at large, drawing condemnation from various Twitter accounts, including one belonging to the Democratic Women of Cumberland County.
For his part Palacios went on to call for the FBI to investigate “Angry Naval Officer” because that user, “subscribes to Anarchy against government,” an apparent reference to a link in his bio http://thetacticsofterror.org/, a site run by Malcolm Nance.
Nance is a former naval officer who has written several books on extremist organizations, including his book “Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe,” and has appeared on MSNBC. Nance appears to use his website to track terrorist activities around the globe.
District 21 is drawn to heavily favor a Democratic candidate, containing the solid blueHoke County, and reliably Democratic portions of Cumberland County. The seat is not considered competitive by either party and has not been targeted for funding by groups like Flippable.