Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson says a Democrat “tracker” worked his way into the home of his running mate Donna Bergstrom.
Johnson described the disturbing incident on Facebook, saying Bergstrom returned home from a day on the campaign trail to find a “young DFL tracker” inside her home with her husband and 13-year-old son.
Trackers are hired to follow the opposing side’s candidate to gather information and record anything the candidate does. Johnson said the tracker, understood to be a teenage boy, had knocked on the door and asked to use their phone to call for a ride, claiming his cell phone had died. He also asked if he could sit inside their home until his ride arrived.
Bergstrom’s husband, who did not realize he was a tracker, agreed to let the boy in. Johnson wrote on Facebook that Bergstrom was “quite startled to see the tracker sitting in her living room and talking to her family when she returned home.”
Johnson declined to publicize the name of the individual due to his young age, and said no further action will be taken. The incident, however, represents a “new low” in our political discourse, Johnson says.
“It’s ridiculous enough that candidates and their families are being chased out of restaurants and harassed in public by the Left,” Johnson wrote. “To actually enter someone’s home under false pretenses is a new low. If I learned of this type of behavior against my opponent, I wouldn’t stand for it. And, FYI, if anything like this happens again, the police will be involved.”
DFL Chairman Ken Martin responded to the incident, saying the individual was an “over-zealous teenage student intern” who was not employed by the DFL as a tracker.
“We have identified the person who entered Donna Bergstrom’s home today as an over-zealous teenage student intern who has volunteered for several campaigns,” Martin said in a statement. “This individual is not, and has never been a DFL employee, and was not working officially or otherwise, as a tracker. Even so, I have personally called Jeff Johnson to apologize for today’s incident.”
Martin added that “no DFL employees are ever encouraged to act in this way” and that “no candidate for public office should have to worry about this kind of unacceptable intrusion in the privacy of their own home.”
The Johnson campaign maintains the boy was indeed acting as a DFL tracker, but are willing to put the incident behind them given the boy’s age.