Mask wearing by ND lawmakers prompts angry confrontation, salty language and an apology for swearing

State News

N.D. Legislature (file photo)

District 36 Representative Luke Simmons is apologizing for his language in a brief, angry outburst at two other lawmakers over mask shaming and not wearing a mask.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Simmons offered his account of what happened Tuesday at the Capitol, along with an apology for his harsh language.

Simmons said the confrontation took place in the Capitol cafeteria as he stood in line.

According to Simmons, two House Democrats, including District 44 Representative Karla Rose Hanson, came over to him as he stood in line and repeatedly demanded he put on a mask.

Simmons, who has chosen not to wear a mask, told the two he would not do so.

As the pair continued to demand he wear a mask, Simmons said he told them to leave him alone.

The pair pointed to a sign saying masks are required a half hour before and a half hour after a session of the legislature.

Simmons claims most Republican lawmakers, including himself, don’t really follow the mask guidelines. “The Democrats, I’m sure, are mad because we’re taking it not serious .. not wearing a mask consistently,” Simmons said in his video.

At one point, one of the individuals demanded he leave the cafeteria, allegedly saying, “If you don’t want to follow the rules, then leave.”

At that point, Simmons said in his video, “I told them to f– off, leave me the f– alone.”

Simmons said, looking back on the incident, swearing was wrong.

“I’m not sorry for what I said, I’m sorry that I swore,” he explained in his video. “It’s never right to swear. Christians don’t do it.”

Simmons emphasized he doesn’t apologize for not wearing a mask.

“I am not sorry for not wanting to wear a mask, I am not sorry for not wearing a mask,” he said.

Hanson posted her account of the confrontation to her Facebook page saying, “a maskless Rep. Luke Simons yelled at me to STFU when I pointed out he was standing next to a ‘mask required’ sign and that he could do whatever he wanted because his taxes paid for this building. (He later apologized.) Good times, good times.”

The second Democrat lawmaker was not identified.

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