Sen. Jeff Flake Tells Opponent to 'Hang in There' After Online Abuse

Posted: Jul 19, 2017 2:15 PM

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) is being lauded for encouraging his opponent to "hang in there" after she received a torrent of online abuse following her candidacy announcement. 

Deedra Abboud, a Democrat and a Muslim, is the first Democrat to enter the Senate race, and announced her candidacy in a Facebook post. She's a fairly long-shot candidate, as Flake's Senate seat has been held by a Republican for nearly 30 years. 

I'm Deedra Abboud and I'm Running for U.S. Senate to serve the people of Arizona, the state where I found my home, my family, and my dreams. Learn more about me and what I stand for by going to my website:

While this is a fairly standard announcement post, people did not take kindly to both Abboud's religious beliefs and political views. Among other things, Abboud was told to "go f--k herself," and to kill herself, and she was accused of both wanting to bring Sharia law to the United States and of being a suicide bomber. 

Abboud's online abuse was covered in Arizona newspapers, and even caught the attention of Flake, who tweeted a message of support, saying he was sorry that she had to deal with the mean messages.

Flake's Senate colleague Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) praised the tweet, calling Flake "one of the most decent" people he knows.

It's perfectly fine to disagree with someone's religious beliefs/political beliefs/etc. It's not, however, okay to tell someone to kill themselves or accuse them of wanting to kill innocent people. This shouldn't have to be spelled out, nor should a Senator be in a position to have to reassure one of his opponents that not everyone in their constituency is a bad person. People need to behave better.

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