SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California state Assemblyman and San Deigo mayoral candidate Todd Gloria said he received serious threats of physical violence through social media Wednesday evening.
Officials from Gloria's campaign said Thursday that the threats have been reported to the San Diego Police Department and are being investigated. ABC 10News reached out to SDPD Thursday regarding the threats, but the department did not immediately respond.
Gloria's campaign said the threats come after former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio flooded voters with texts attacking Gloria for his support of SB-145.
The bill lets a judge decide whether to force someone to register as a sex offender in certain circumstances after having sex with a minor. The bill is meant to end discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
Gloria said DeMaio's texts to voters are an effort to support Gloria's opponent in the mayoral race, City Councilmember Barbara Bry.
Demaio has said he has not endorsed Bry.
Gloria issued the following statement on Thursday regarding the threats:
"Since KUSI and Carl DeMaio started knowingly misinforming voters about SB-145 in an effort to support my opponent, I have received multiple messages threatening physical violence. After receiving one last night brandishing a gun, it is clear that my campaign team and I must take this seriously. As such, we have reported the threats to the San Diego Police Department, and they are currently investigating.
While I refuse to let this paralyze our campaign, voters deserve to know that this is what Barbara Bry's campaign is inspiring. Her campaign is bringing out the worst of who we are. We are so much better than this, and San Diegans should hold her and her campaign accountable this November."
In response, Bry's campaign issued the following statement:
"Violence and threats of violence have no place in a civil society, and we must all condemn anyone who promotes such activity.
However, it's outrageous that Todd Gloria is blaming me while his supporters are promoting political ads that have resulted in numerous personal threats against me and my campaign. Mr. Gloria remained silent as it relates to his own supporters. He appears to be blaming me for the actions of someone with whom he has had a personal feud for more than a decade.
Carl DeMaio has no involvement in my campaign and has not endorsed me. My campaign had nothing to do with Carl DeMaio's text message opposing Todd Gloria.
Regarding AB145, I stand by my previous statement and respectfully disagrees with Mr. Gloria that allowing more people to avoid the sex registry is the best way to achieve equity. Like three members of San Diego's Democratic delegation in the Assembly, I believe we should be tough on child predators, regardless of their sexual orientation."
ABC 10News also reached to DeMaio for comment on the issue. He said in a statement:
"Todd Gloria is desperate to distract voters from his indefensible support for the controversial SB-145 law that benefits sex offenders who target children as young as 14 years of age.
In an utter act of desperation Todd Gloria is screaming 'homophobia' now that he is being legitimately called out for supporting sex offenders and putting our children at risk. The media should not let him deflect and deceive on this issue - simply report the language Todd Gloria voted for in SB-145 to your audience and let them decide whether he is protecting sex offenders or our children."