Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Missouri House Candidate who Espoused Antisemitism Charged with Assault

Steve West, a Kansas City independent candidate for Missouri House who has repeatedly been denounced by his family and the Missouri Republican Party for espousing bigoted views, has been charged for allegedly assaulting a Gladstone woman by trying to rip a campaign sign out of her hands. The 68-year-old candidate was charged with third-degree assault, a class E felony, on Wednesday, according to court records. The Gladstone Police Department’s citation alleges West committed assault on Oct. 25 “by grabbing at her arms and attempting to rip a sign out of her hands, causing her physical injury and distress.”

A court date has been scheduled for Dec. 17.

West will be on the Nov. 8 ballot as an independent candidate for District 15 against state Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern, a Kansas City Democrat, and Republican Adam Richardson. West filed as an independent after the Missouri Republican Party rejected his filing fee in February due to his past “vile” statements through a radio show and website on which he regularly spewed an array of bigotry, including homophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism. Hannah Edmisten, 26, is listed as the victim of the alleged assault on court records. In an interview with The Star, she said she saw West put a sign in a neighbor’s yard. After he had moved down the block, she admits she removed the sign.

“When I got to my porch, he started running down the street screaming at me,” she said. “I just stood there, frozen, with the sign in my hand, and he ran up to me and tried to get the sign out of my hand and then grabbed my arms and my hand.” “I was like, I can’t believe this just happened because no one’s ever put their hands on me like that.” The encounter left her with a bruise on her hand, Edmisten said.

But their stories of that incident differ. West, in a phone interview with The Star, said he was putting out campaign signs in the neighborhood when Edmisten began yelling at him and removed one of the signs. He said he took the sign back from her, but denied assaulting her. “I said, ‘You don’t have any right to take that sign. Give me the sign back,’” West said. “She wouldn’t give it to me so I did take the sign back from her. I didn’t hit her, I didn’t strike her, I didn’t push her down. I took the sign away from her — so that’s what happened.” West said he plans to plead not guilty to the charges. He said he intends to press charges against Edmisten for stealing his sign.

“If I’d walked into somebody’s yard and taken their Black Lives Matter sign or their rainbow sign or their rainbow flag and they saw me doing it, I’m sure they would probably get upset with me,” he said. Nurrenbern, West’s Democratic opponent in the race, said in a phone interview that West has “made himself known for his hateful rhetoric.” “He continues to spew conspiracy theories and vitriol and, with this latest assault, I think it just proves how dangerous he really is,” she said. “I would just want to express my sympathies to the victim. It is heartbreaking to think that somebody who was just trying to do the right thing would be attacked in this manner and it is really frightening considering that this is somebody who is on the ballot for a very important position.”

Richardson, West’s Republican opponent, said that he and West are “definitely opposites when it comes to stuff like that or anything, really.” “We’re really seeing his personality,” he said. “That’s not someone we need in any office.” West’s campaign website is no longer available online. It’s unclear when the website was removed. West made headlines in 2018 when he won his GOP primary and then more people became aware of his radio show, where he spread bigoted views. After losing in the 2018 general election, West ran another unsuccessful campaign in 2020. Before that election West’s children came forward and publicly urged people not to support their father, whom they described as a “fanatic” who was “racist,” “homophobic” and “doesn’t like Jews.”

Source:https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article268293062.html