Governor, Wife Face Tirade at Restaurant

State police investigate threats, racial slurs apparently from right-wing podcaster
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2022 5:43 PM CST
Nevada Governor, Wife Accosted in Restaurant
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak arrives with his wife, Kathy, to deliver the State of the State address Wednesday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Behind them are daughters Ashley, left, and Carley Sisolak.   (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

What appeared to be a friendly selfie request of Nevada's governor turned into a profane, threatening situation Sunday at a Las Vegas restaurant. Nevada State Police are investigating the confrontation that began just after Gov. Steve Sisolak; his wife, Kathy; and a daughter arrived at Lindo Michoacan in Summerlin, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The verbal assault, which was recorded on cellphone video, included racial slurs hurled at Kathy Sisolak, who is a first-generation Chinese American born and raised in the state.

A man in the restaurant approached the governor, appearing to want a selfie with him, before launching a tirade laced with profanities. "I can’t tell you what a piece of ... you are," the man began. Sisolak answered, "Sorry to hear that," then began walking away. At least two men followed the Sisolaks as they left the restaurant, screaming threats on the way. They became more threatening, pointing out that Sisolak didn't have a security officer with him. "We should string you up by a lamppost right now," the second man said, per the Hill. The man shown in the video approaching Sisolak was identified as Justin Andersch, per the Review-Journal, who has a website and podcast that advocate far-right, anti-government conspiracy theories. He took credit in a podcast Monday, per the Las Vegas Sun.

Greeting constituents with a handshake or selfie "is one of the governor's favorite parts of his job," a Sisolak aide said, per KTNV. The governor expressed disappointment at Sunday's encounter, though, "particularly with the language used to talk about First Lady Kathy Sisolak's heritage." The Democratic attorney general condemned the assault. But the Nevada Republican Party's chairman, after saying there's no place for such behavior, raised Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters' urging of supporters to confront Trump officials in 2018 over border policy. And Joey Gilbert, a GOP candidate for governor, posted on Facebook: "Hell no I do not condemn it. You earned it Steve." (More Steve Sisolak stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.