Government & Politics

Police investigating threatening message sent to Johnson County lawmaker

Republican Rep. Stephanie Clayton of Overland Park.
Republican Rep. Stephanie Clayton of Overland Park.

Overland Park police said Tuesday they are investigating a threatening social media message made about a Johnson County lawmaker.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Overland Park Republican, helped introduce a bill recently that would permanently exempt Kansas colleges from having to allow concealed handguns on campus.

Clayton then shared a story about the legislation on her Facebook page and said she was proud to be working on the possible change.

Late last week, a Facebook commenter wrote that “This B---- needs to swing from a tree for violating her oath.”

After seeing the post, Clayton said she alerted Overland Park Police and Capitol Police.

Officer John Lacy, a spokesman for the Overland Park Police Department, said a report had been taken on the incident. He said police would continue to monitor the situation and will be investigating the message.

Clayton said she had received aggressive social media messages before, but this was the first threat of this nature.

“Right or wrong, people get upset and really passionate about these issues,” Clayton said.

Clayton is one of a handful of Johnson County lawmakers who have advocated for changing a state law that would force Kansas colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus starting July 1.

The moderate House Republican has served in the Legislature since 2013.

Despite the recent social media message, Clayton said her enthusiasm for the legislation hasn’t changed.

House Majority Leader Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican, said the weekend exchange was an unfortunate incident.

“It’s a warning to all of us that the best way to achieve good legislative outcomes is through careful and courteous civil discourse,” Hineman said. “Social media doesn’t always lend itself to that sort of conversation.”

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw