After news belatedly broke that a Republican congressional candidate’s parents had found a bullet hole at their home, the Democrat in the race pulled an ad showing a different residence belonging to his opponent.
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A photo provided by the campaign of Pat Harrigan, a Republican running for an open House seat in North Carolina, shows a bullet hole in a window in the laundry room of his parents’ home.
By Christine Hauser
- Nov. 4, 2022, 2:35 p.m. ET
A Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina criticized his Democratic opponent’s campaign on Friday for showing one of his homes in a TV ad, saying that someone had recently fired a bullet into his parents’ house.
The Hickory Police Department confirmed that the parents of the Republican candidate, Pat Harrigan, had reported on Oct. 19 that someone had fired a bullet that put a hole in a window in their home’s laundry room the night before. No one was injured.
The police report did not come to light until it was covered in local news reports on Thursday, and the campaign of Mr. Harrigan’s Democratic opponent, Jeff Jackson, took down the ad showing a different Harrigan residence. The ad had been running since Oct. 18, apparently the same date the bullet hole was found.
During an appearance Friday morning on “Fox & Friends,” Mr. Harrigan accused Mr. Jackson of “very poor judgment.”
“In the era of Steve Scalise and Brett Kavanaugh, and now, Paul Pelosi,” he said. “This is just unbelievable to me.”
Mr. Harrigan and Mr. Jackson are running for an open seat representing North Carolina’s 14th congressional district, which was created after the 2020 census.
The ad from the Jackson campaign showed footage of a house on the banks of a lake, where a man in a suit cuts through the waves on a Jet Ski. It said Mr. Harrigan “did so well” as a firearms manufacturer that he was able to purchase the residence and the Jet Ski. It also questioned whether Mr. Harrigan lived in the district.
ImagePat HarriganImageJeff Jackson
“We fully support law enforcement as they investigate this incident and believe any wrongdoing should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Jackson’s campaign spokesman, Tommy Cromie, said.
Mr. Cromie said the ad was pulled out of “an abundance of caution and concern, but, to be clear, the home involved in the incident has never been featured in any of our advertising.”
Mr. Harrigan’s parents told the police they found the bullet hole around 10 p.m. on Oct. 18, according to the police report, which was filed the next morning and described the incident as a “shooting (chance of injury) into occupied property.” The last time they could recall having seen the window intact was on Oct. 16, according to the report. The damage was estimated at $500.
On Fox News, Mr. Harrigan said his parents were watching television when “a bullet cracks through” their home, 20 feet from his sleeping children, who were spending the night at their grandparents’ home.
“This is completely out of the blue,” he added, “particularly for this neighborhood.”
The incident in Hickory, about 58 miles northwest of Charlotte, was widely reported by local and national media on Thursday. The Associated Press said the bullet came from “a densely wooded area” and did not wake the children.
The type of firearm was not identified, and a police spokeswoman, Kristen Hart, said Friday that the case remained under investigation. She told The Carolina Journal that investigators had found a bullet casing. Reports that the F.B.I. was also investigating could not be confirmed.