The home of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was “swatted” Friday evening, police confirmed Saturday.
Maine State Police responded after an unidentified man lied about having broken into the house.
Bellows and her family were away at the time of the hoax call.
The incident comes after Bellows disqualified former President Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot late Thursday, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans from office those who “engaged in insurrection” over his alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 riot.
Bellows made the ruling after some state residents, including a bipartisan group of former lawmakers, challenged Trump’s position on the ballot.
“Swatting” is when someone calls the police under dangerous false pretenses to trigger a law enforcement response, especially a SWAT team to a location.
Some swatting calls in the past have ended in the victim being killed. An Ohio man was sentenced to prison in 2019 after a Kansas man he swatted was accidentally killed by police.
On Saturday, Bellows called the swatting call “unacceptable” in a lengthy statement on Facebook.
“Thank you for the messages of love and support,” she wrote. “I’ve been moved by every one and especially by those from friends and loved ones who disagree with my decision but have reached out to express love and respect.”
Bellows added that her staff had faced “unacceptable” and “non-stop threatening communications” on Friday after her decision. “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. [Her husband] Brandon and I are grateful for incredible, dedicated support from law enforcement in this time.”
Maine State Police said officers investigated Bellows’ home at her request and nothing suspicious was found.
The investigation is ongoing.
On Christmas Day, Republican U.S. Reps. Brandon Wiliams of New York and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia were also the targets of swatting calls.
Then on Tuesday, Republican state Rep. Kevin D. Miller of Ohio reported that he was swatted.