Whitmer-Endorsed Candidate Loses Support From Dems After Police Reports Show He Was Investigated For Alleged School Shooting Threat
A high school student walks down a dark hallway in a public high school, silhouetted by daylight spilling in and reflecting off of the floor and lockers.
Hal Bergman Photography/Getty Images

A Michigan Democratic candidate who could become the youngest lawmaker in Michigan history and was endorsed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has lost the support of his party.

Michigan House Democrats severed ties this week with 20-year-old Maurice Imhoff of Jackson, Michigan, who is running in a tight race for a seat in the state’s House of Representatives. The party’s distancing from the young candidate comes after police reports were revealed, indicating Imhoff was investigated three separate times while in high school for allegedly making school shooting threats and was on probation for assaulting a police officer, according to The Detroit News.

“The Michigan House Democratic Campaign will not be supporting Maurice Imhoff’s campaign for state representative,” Michigan House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski said.

Lasinski, along with other top Democrats in the state, had recently fundraised with Imhoff, and Whitmer once called him a “passionate problem solver.” On Tuesday, however, a spokeswoman for the governor said she was no longer supporting Imhoff’s campaign, saying “the allegations are serious and concerning,” The Detroit News reported.

At 15 years old in December 2016, Imhoff was reportedly investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office after a fellow student showed her parent a screenshot of Snapchat posts from Imhoff. The Sheriff’s office said the posts allegedly indicated “he was going to cause trouble at school and [possibly] shoot up students inside the school and also shoot himself.”

Imhoff later admitted to posting the threats, saying that he was upset over a recent breakup, among other stresses at school, but he told authorities he would not have followed through on the threats, according to the police report.

Almost two years later, Imhoff was investigated again over an allegation that he “referenced a shooting that was going to take place at Northwest High School” in a conversation with his girlfriend. His girlfriend told police she didn’t believe Imhoff was serious about the threat, and Imhoff said “the entire situation was blown out of proportion.” He did admit that his girlfriend asked him if he was going to “shoot up the school” and he responded “yup” in a Snapchat message, the police report showed.

The 2018 report added that Imhoff was on probation for assaulting a police officer.

In February 2019, yet another tip alleged that Imhoff “posted on his private story with a gun saying he wanted to shoot people that go to Northwest and Western tomorrow,” according to the police report. Police did not find any of the alleged threats on Imhoff’s phone and no charges were filed against him for the 2019 incident.

As of Tuesday, Imhoff’s Twitter and Instagram accounts had been deleted, and his campaign website made visitors type in a password to gain access.

The Democratic candidate ran unopposed in the party’s August 2 primary and is set to face Republican Kathy Schmaltz in the November general election for Michigan’s 46th House district.

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