Pennsylvania Democratic candidate assaulted outside home in politically motivated attack

On October 31, 69-year-old Democrat Richard Ringer, who is running for a state House seat in the largely Republican-dominated Fayette County, located in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania, suffered a brutal beating at 5:00 a.m. when he confronted a man trying to break into his garage. 

According to Ringer, after a brief wrestling match, the assailant pinned the official to the ground, punched him in his face a dozen times until he was bloody and bruised, knocking him unconscious. Ringer phoned the police without obtaining a description of the fleeing attacker, and the police have not responded to any press questions. 

Ringer described the horrific assault to Pittsburgh's Action News 4, saying “He had my arm behind my back, and he was pounding me. The only thing I have is the bruising on my hand and face, but he hit me a couple of times and knocked me out.”

Richard Ringer

A couple of weeks prior, vandals attacked his home several times, spray painting messages that were partially legible. One scrawling contained the words “your [electoral] race,” “dead,” and “look out because you’re next.” In another violent act, a brick was thrown through his window. 

The assault on Ringer occurs only a few days after an individual attacked Nancy Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband, Paul, beating him within an inch of his life.

Pennsylvania is a heated political battleground in the upcoming midterm elections, with both a Senate seat and the governorship contested. With 20 electoral votes, it is among the top five states to win in a presidential election. It was among the several swing states targeted by the Trump campaign and its associates with bogus charges of fraudulent votes. 

Ringer and the Democratic Party as a whole have downplayed the significance and seriousness of these attacks and the threat to the democratic rights of the American working class posed by the far-right ravings of the Republican Party, despite the obvious signs of politically-motivated violence.

“My neighborhood is safe. It’s calm, and there’s no crime whatsoever. If you just try to connect the dots, maybe. But I can’t say definitively,” Ringer told a local news station, when asked if the attack was political.

It is undeniable that the inspiration for fascist political violence has been conjured up by Trump and fascistic Republicans.

Charity Grimm Krupa, Ringer’s Republican opponent in the race, has refused to issue a statement about the attack. In a social media post Wednesday, Ringer demanded Krupa debate him.

“My Republican opponent in the 51st District election, Charity Grimm Krupa, won’t meet to even discuss a format for a debate or public forum,” he said.

“Some of the questions she likely does not want to answer,” Ringer said, were “Do you believe that Joseph R. Biden won, without election fraud, the presidential election? That Trump and his supporters should stop perpetuating the ‘Big Lie?’” 

Ringer asked the Republican, “Will you, if you lose, accept the result of the voters for the 51st District?”

Throughout the election cycle public officials have repeatedly warned of a substantial uptick in violent attacks. And even as Ringer expresses “uncertainty” about the attacker’s motives, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman acknowledged recently at the Pennsylvania Press Club that there has been an increase in election-related threats since 2020 and more threats in recent weeks.

Ringer’s response is not an aberration but a product of the deliberate strategy of the Democratic Party, which has preached unity with their Republican “colleagues” at the state and federal levels.

Pennsylvania elections have increasingly become important on the national arena as the Democrats try to keep their tenuous control over the Senate and as Republicans attempt to gain positions in order to bolster their chances at rigging the election and implementing a corporate agenda. In fact, Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, a rabid Trump and QAnon supporter, plans to overturn any election that blocks Trump from regaining power.

During the Pennsylvania Senate debate between “left-wing” Democrat John Fetterman and quack scientist, Trump-supporting Mehmet Oz, Fetterman never accused Oz or the Republicans of stoking political violence and attempting to overthrow the government on January 6. On all the issues, Fetterman moved to the right to appease the Republican party and give the impression of unity.