During a debate for a seat in the Minnesota state legislature, four-term incumbent Republican Rep. Duane Quam and his opponent, Democrat Jamie Mahlberg, were passing a microphone back and forth while discussing issues of interest to their constituents. During one question, however, Quam raised his card to indicate he wanted to offer a rebuttal of something Mahlberg said. Instead of waiting, Quam grabbed the microphone out of his opponent’s hands, causing her to recoil in surprise.
Voters in the area are not looking kindly upon Quam’s behavior.
Not ok. Just…completely not ok behavior. Why is this acceptable?! This is common behavior and yet the left has a “mob mentality”??
A GOP Lawmaker Snatched A Mic From His Female Democratic Opponent & She Looked Shocked – Bustle https://t.co/CFK1SrIXNV
— Mickey (@mybellemickey) October 10, 2018
@DRQuam I just saw your disgusting display toward your opponent. Seems like all you #Trumplicans are about is trying to bully berate & belittle anyone against you. I hope your constituents vote you out of office in Nov. U R a thug nothing else. #duanequam #bully #VoteBlue #shame
— Thomas Bell (@theathbar) October 10, 2018
When Quam was done, he tried to hand the microphone back to Mahlberg, but she refused to dignify his behavior.
When she didn’t take it back, he tossed it in front of her.
Mahlberg later commented to Splinter:
It was disappointing to be on the receiving end of such disrespectful behavior from my current representative, but ultimately I’m focused on my campaign and the hard work I will continue to do to earn the support of the voters of the district.
I'm focused on this campaign and the hard work it'll take to earn the support of district #MN25A on 11/6. I hope you'll join me to knock some doors and drop some lit. #CultivateCommunity #mnleg https://t.co/HpkrEJDm2h
— Jamie Mahlberg (@JamieForHouseMN) October 9, 2018
Quam later apologized to the Post-Bulletin:
I respect Jamie and my actions at last night’s forum did not reflect that. Unfortunately, my nerves got the best of me with our timed responses and I was not as graceful as I should have been while we shared the microphone. My sincere apologies to Jamie and I look forward to continuing a positive campaign.
The kind of cool, calm, and collected demeanor we have come to know and respect from Duane Quam.
— Matt Wagenius (@mattwagenius) October 9, 2018
Obviously, Twitter was having none of this kind of behavior.
Seriously, Rep. Duane Quam. Is this appropriate behavior of a representative for our area? Would you have done that to a male opponent? No. I don't think you would have. Additionally, she's still a constituent and should be addressed… https://t.co/XL9O3OwlRW
— vangie castro ? (@vangiec) October 9, 2018
— Trista Schwind (@TESchwind) October 9, 2018
Duane Quam is the physical embodiment of the cocky, white, male legislator. Let's send him a message that this kind of behavior is not okay.
— Clay Schwartzwalter (@ClaytheSchwartz) October 9, 2018
— Brandan Borgos (@JutSao) October 10, 2018
Duane Quam clearly shows that he doesn’t have the temperament or respect for women to be in public office.
— Minnesota DFL Party (@MinnesotaDFL) October 10, 2018
In 2016, Quam won the election by a 60-40 margin. Things may be closer this time around. In fact, the end result might be different altogether.
— Nancy Levine Vote November 6th (@nancylevine) October 11, 2018