Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 31st congressional district, said campaign team members for Congressman John Carter pelted her children with candy while they were trick-or-treating Halloween night in Round Rock.
Carter’s team apparently “bullied” and “harassed” Hegar’s children, she said the following morning during a campaign walk Thursday morning in north Killeen. She also made the allegations in a video on her campaign Facebook page.
The incident comes two days after a rally in Hegar's neighborhood, she said, in which Congressman Carter appeared, along with a truck pulling a large sign advocating for Carter.
“I just thought it was funny and blew it off, even though I thought it was crappy,” Hegar said, questioning why Carter's crew would hold a rally specifically in her neighborhood.
On Halloween night, Hegar said she and her children encountered a truck with the same sign. The truck eventually pulled up by her children, she said, and the people inside began conversing with them.
“I can’t describe the people in the truck because I turned my back on them to try and get in between my kids,” Hegar said. “They started pelting candy at my kids—not hard, but not soft. It infuriated me.”
Hegar then said she told her children not to pick up the candy, questioning its safety.
“There’s very few joys as a child. There’s Christmas morning, birthdays, and I think trick-or-treating is one of those,” Hegar said. “They stole that from my children last night. I am going to fight against oppression and bullying and intimidation in a nonpartisan way.”
On Twitter, Hegar uploaded security camera footage she said was recorded in front of her home, showing the truck in question driving down the road.
My family was harassed by the Carter campaign while trick-or-treating tonight. This is exactly what’s wrong with politics, and it’s a reminder that we’re ready for a change from politics as usual. #TX31 pic.twitter.com/cbo9MSh6Ic— MJ Hegar for Texas (@mjhegar) November 1, 2018
During a campaign walk Thursday morning in north Killeen, Hegar said she would fight against the so called bullying and intimidation of political leaders.
“I’m a Democrat because I also believe what’s happening is a lack of leadership to stand up to those who are pulling healthcare away from people,” Hegar said. “People are going to die.”
Carter’s staff did in fact encounter Hegar and her children on Halloween night, said Bruce Harvie, a spokesman for Carter, in an email, but were celebrating Halloween.
“Last night, campaign staff and volunteers for Congressman John Carter's campaign were canvassing their own and Rep. Carter's neighborhood passing out candy to children. At one point in the evening our team members encountered Ms. Hegar and her children. Our campaign wholly disagrees with Ms. Hegar's accounting of the encounter. This seems like just another poor attempt by Ms. Hegar to gain attention for her failing campaign,” Harvie said.