Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kansas mayor resigns following threats over mask mandate

State Capitol of Kansas, Topeka

The State Capitol of Kansas, in Topeka, where protesters rallied in April against the state's stay-at-home order then in place. Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A western Kansas mayor submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday after receiving threats to her wellbeing for her public support of a face mask mandate.

Why it matters: Public officials have received increasing backlash and threats for actions taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"Life has dealt out many challenges in our world that have perhaps caused many people to act inappropriately. But I do not feel safe in this position anymore and am hopeful in removing myself this anger, accusations and abuse will not fall on anyone else and will calm down."
— Excerpt from Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw's letter

Driving the news: Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw faced aggression via phone and email after a USA Today article last Friday quoted her support for a mask mandate.

  • The vote to impose a mask mandate carried on Nov. 16, and Warshaw told the Dodge City Daily Globe she had no regrets voting in favor of the mandate.
  • Dodge City's surrounding county — which has about 33,600 residents — has seen 4,914 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, per AP.

The big picture: Officials to receive threats over mask mandates include the mayor of Wichita, Kansas, who received a violent kidnap warning, and a Green Bay City Council in Connecticut who received multiple threats of physical harm.

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