Ross Wilburn

AMES — Ames police are investigating threatening messages directed at Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn after The Des Moines Register published an editorial from Wilburn that criticized former President Trump.

Wilburn told The Register he received two threatening voice mail messages and an email that referred to his editorial and one made a direct statement about lynching. Wilburn, who is black, told the paper the messages were very explicit and every other word was the n-word.

Wilburn, the former mayor of Iowa City and a current state representative, said he’s concerned by the escalation of violent threats against public officials, including school board members, and Wilburn told The Register the threat of lynching a black man is the kind of hate that should be reported to authorities.

This spring, a permanent security fence was installed around the governor’s mansion in Des Moines after what the Iowa Department of Public Safety described as repeated threats against Governor Kim Reynolds. In September, the U-S Capitol Police reported threats against federal lawmakers have doubled since last year.

Governor Reynolds tweeted out late this morning a statement saying “This type of hate must never be tolerated. Whoever is responsible should be held accountable. Racism of any kind is unacceptable and not who we are as Iowans. “