A gay assemblyman in Anchorage, Alaska, has received a death threat as he runs for the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Christopher Constant played a recording of the telephone call to his office to South Florida Gay News.
"I wanna see you get smoked so bad and you're going to too," a man said during the two-minute message, which included threats and several homophobic slurs.
"I'm not afraid of you homosexuals," he said, reports the outlet. "It disgusts me. Pervert!"
The assemblyman has given the tape to local authorities.
"This is the reality of what the race is and he is just the one who is willing to say it," Constant said. "Just know this, this is what makes me strong, we make the difference for all the kids coming forward in a world that is not going to be like this anymore."
He told SFGN, "People don't realize how much risk there is in this job especially for a queer."
Constant has been a target for anti-LGBTQ+ people before. In September 2021, a local antimask activist called Constant a "cocksucker" during an assembly meeting.
At the meeting, many residents who opposed the city's proposed mask mandate spoke to the council. When the activist, Paul Kendall took the microphone, he said to Constant, "I thought you were just a cocksucker, but you're a coward," as documented on video by The Alaska Landmine, a news website. Some people cheered Kendall, who was then escorted from the building. He was later arrested for trespassing.
"I've been called worse by better," Constant said at the time.
Constant is running against 47 other candidates seeking the fill the seat left by Rep. Don Young who died unexpectedly in office in March. The June 11 election is using a ranked voting system to decide the new representative.
The top four candidates after June 11 will then head to a special election in August to find out who will finish Young's term, The New York Times reports. That same month 30 candidates will compete in another primary to determine the four that will go to November's general election. In the general election, the voters will decide who will be sworn in for a new term beginning in January 2023.
As SFGN notes, the candidates range from former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin to a socialist candidate named Santa Clause.
"We're in the experiment now so we'll see what happens," Constant explained. He told the outlet that the election could force more extremist candidates to the center or strengthen the current power structure.
Constant said he wasn't worried about Palin in the election.
"What outside people don't understand about Sarah Palin is, yes 87% of people know her but most people don't like her because she's a quitter," Constant told SFGN. "Alaskans aren't down with that and I think people are going to be surprised when they see how poorly she performs on the 11th."
He added, "We're going to fight this fight until these people are dead from old age or we have overwhelmed them with so many of us who believe in equity and equality and justice and freedom and fairness for everybody. That's the fight and that's why I'm in this race."