Brought into court by federal agents and wearing the Strafford County House of Corrections’ inmate uniform, Tyler Anderson managed to stay quiet for Monday’s short hearing.
If he had mastered that same self-control before he allegedly started threatening GOP politicians, Anderson might not have been in court at all.
Anderson, 30, threatened to kill Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy at a campaign event planned for Monday morning, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young said in a statement. And days before that threat, Anderson allegedly threatened a mass shooting at a different Republican presidential candidate’s events and made threats to multiple other candidates, according to court records.
“I’m very grateful to local law enforcement here in New Hampshire, including a retired cop who has worked with our team, for their swift response,” Ramaswamy said when he sat down with NHJournal to record an episode of Diner Table Economics on Monday. “I continue to pray for everyone involved in this process.”
Anderson, a Dover resident, is charged with allegedly sending two disturbing and threatening messages to Ramaswamy’s campaign. The threats came after Anderson received a text invitation to the “Breakfast with Vivek” campaign event in Portsmouth.
Like many political candidates, Ramaswamy and his campaign use text messages to invite voters to campaign events. Anderson allegedly responded to one invitation with grisly and obscene threats.
“Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!” Anderson reportedly replied. He followed up with, ‘I’m going to kill everyone who attends and then f*** their corpses.’”
Federal agents tracked Anderson to his Dover home on Saturday, placed him under arrest, and executed a search warrant. During the search, agents checked Anderson’s phone and found text threats to another GOP candidate, according to the affidavit filed in court. Again, Anderson allegedly sent the threats in response to a campaign text inviting him to an event.
“Fantastic, now I know where to go so I can blow that bastard’s head off.” “Thanks, I’ll see you there. Hope you have the stamina for a mass shooting!” “And then I’m gonna f*** (names) corpse.” “And don’t worry, (name), I’ll make sure to f*** yours too.”
When confronted with the text messages to one candidate’s team, Anderson told agents he sent more threats to many other candidates, according to the affidavit.
Anderson, 30, is a 2018 UNH graduate who recently started a new job as an administrative assistant at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. UNH administrative assistants typically earn between $35,000 and $45,000 a year.
The University did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on Monday, but it is a safe bet Anderson won’t be at work for a while.
The government plans to ask that Anderson remain jailed pending a trial. Anderson will stay in custody until at least Thursday’s detention hearing.
Anderson faces a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Ramaswamy told NHJournal that while the threats were disturbing, his experience campaigning for president has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I think we’re far more united in our basic values than most Americans would believe from turning on social media or looking at the cable news media,” Ramaswamy said. “Eighty percent of us in this country share the same values in common. Meeting people in the [Portsmouth] diner this morning, we had a lot of warm conversations and made new friendships that I’m incredibly grateful for. And I think that’s a good thing in this country.”