Gay candidate for State Rep. in Wichita found death threat on his front door

Via Joe.My.God who got the news from the Kansas Equality Coalition, Dan Manning, a candidate for State Rep. in Wichita, found a written death threat on his front door over the weekend.

Here’s what it looked like:

More from Thomas Witt at the Kansas Equality Coalition:

The note is clearly an offensive way to use threats of deadly violence in an attempt to intimidate and silence Dan and his campaign and, by extension, our entire community and our interests in Topeka. Dan has no intentions of backing down and has seen this latest example of bigotry as proof that his campaign must go on. He and his campaign team’s resolve is now stronger than ever.

Dan’s campaign has been a struggle from the first day. While the challenge of defeating a far-right, incumbent Republican in a swing district is one thing, that Dan’s sexual orientation has been used against him in a hateful way is another thing. Dan not being able to count on the support of his own Democratic Party is another thing altogether. Dan has even had party officials suggest that he hide his own sexual orientation and spend the campaign in the closet. Dan needs support, not indifference.

Worse than indifference from the Democratic Party has been the reaction from some in our own community – those whose apathy or resignation has led them to believe that there’s no place for openly gay candidates and leaders in Kansas. Their willingness to surrender the public stage to people like Brenda Landwehr, and to the person who left this hateful message on Dan’s door, is unacceptable. Dan will not surrender, and neither should we.

Extreme violence in politics is a road Wichita has been down quite recently. Until his assassination 14 months ago, Dr. George Tiller endured years of death threats and attempts on his life. Dr. Tiller never compromised on his commitment to women’s rights. Like Dr. Tiller, Dan will not be intimidated into silence, and will not be pushed back into the closet. Dan believes that the only way to respond to those who would silence us is by making our voices louder and more numerous, not by surrendering in silence and fear.

As Kansans, we must send a message to those who oppose us that we will not be intimidated, we will not be forced back into the closet, and we will not be treated as second-class citizens whose relationships don’t matter.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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