The woman, who was running for the mayor’s seat, felt that her three young children could be in danger.
Nina Spale, who was standing for election alongside her partner Andreas Gabauer, received threatening emails from an anonymous sender which described what she had had for lunch that day, and how long her children had played in the garden – suggesting she was being watched.
“You cannot hide,” one mail said, accusing her of being in league with “Nazi henchmen”. She made an official complaint to police, who have not yet been able to track the sender of the emails down. They appear to have been sent via a server in the Czech Republic, using different IP addresses.
Legally, it is too late for Spale to withdraw her candidacy for the elections. Judith Raab, the Neos top candidate for Upper Austria, said on Tuesday that Spale is still standing for mayor and a seat on the local council and that if she wins she will accept her mandate.
In a statement, Spale told Der Standard newspaper: “We are encouraged by the solidarity in the community and will not be deterred from our political work through this recent intimidation.”