MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – An alderman in Wisconsin recently resigned after his name was leaked on an Oath Keepers membership list and his property was vandalized.
Alder Gary Halverson announced that he has resigned from his position as District 17 Alder. In his statement, he mentioned that his wife has PTSD from past trauma and strangers have come onto his property and vandalized it.
Halverson’s full statement is below:
Effective immediately I will be resigning my position as District 17 Alder. The safety of my family will always come first. My wife has PTSD from past trauma and the last week has been extremely triggering. Violence against women is a very real issue and having unknown individuals come onto our property and vandalize it is traumatic. For anyone who has PTSD, or lived with someone who does, knows that when something happens that is triggering, it is absolutely terrifying, and that terror can last for days or weeks or longer. I am unwilling to put her or my family through this any longer. I am deeply saddened that our current state of politics is filled with fear and intimidation tactics. The ends do not justify ANY means. I want to thank Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney for her unwavering support throughout. I also want to thank my neighborhood leaders who have been strong advocates for positive change. I started out on this journey to help my community because that is who I am. I am proud of my accomplishments and have been honored to work with so many great people who live and work in this city.Alder Gary Halverson
In early September, some of Halverson’s fellow alders issued a statement after it was leaked that he had a paid membership in the Oath Keepers. The joint statement even called into question Halverson’s motivation behind his votes.
President Alder Keith Furman and Vice President Alder Jael Currier’s joint statement is below:
We’re disgusted to learn of Alder Halverson’s past paid membership in the Oath Keepers. It’s extremist positions have been well known since its founding over a decade ago. Mere seconds of online research reveal the Oath Keepers as a far-right antigovernment group, not a group for veterans or the preservation of democracy. While the nation was reacting to the murder of George Floyd, this group promoted its membership using anti Black Lives Matter statements. At this same time, Alder Halverson decided to pay to join this extremist group. Alder Halverson is certainly entitled to this choice and it’s up to him to decide if he can continue as Alder with this secret now being public. Having this information certainly calls into question the motivation behind his votes. The voters of District 17 will have an opportunity to decide who their Alder is in April 2023.Alders Keith Furman & Jael Currie
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway also issued a statement on the matter:
Ald. Halverson’s decision to resign is clearly the right thing for him and his family. Having experienced something similar myself, I understand how upset they must be by having their home targeted. While elected officials must embrace feedback from, and disagreement with, our constituents, I do not believe that graffiti or protests at our homes are an appropriate form of engagement.
I’m confident that the Common Council will find someone qualified to represent the district until the next election.Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway
Halverson was elected back in April 2021 and reportedly had one year left in his term.
The Oath Keepers are described as a far-right extremist group. There was a recent leak that showed hundreds of elected officials and police officers on the group’s list.
No additional information was released at this time.