Minnesota Republicans are calling on state Democrats to rescind the endorsement of Judd Hoff, a candidate for a state House seat with a criminal record who has been accused of stalking and harassing the incumbent Republican legislator.

Hoff was endorsed this month by local Democrats to run in a central Minnesota House district that's been represented by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, since 2011.

Republicans say Hoff has harassed and stalked Franson for years, "digging through her trash, publishing her address and contact information, filming her at her private residence, and relentlessly sending rude and threatening messages online," said Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, chair of the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC).

"While I have no doubt that Rep. Franson will overwhelmingly win re-election, this man belongs nowhere near the ballot and the DFL should make clear that this behavior will not be tolerated," he added.

State GOP Party Chair David Hann said in a statement that the endorsement "normalizes his threatening behavior towards Representative Mary Franson" and must be immediately rescinded.

Hoff did not respond to a call to a phone number listed on a previous campaign page. On his current campaign Facebook page, he said he's a full-time construction worker, married with children and grandchildren and "a bit of an activist and political agitator in my spare time."

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said in a statement that the state party "strongly disavows this endorsement" and he's asked the local party unit to "withdraw their endorsement immediately."

"The Minnesota DFL will not spend any of our resources on behalf of Mr. Hoff," Martin added. "We all have a responsibility, regardless of party or ideology, to reject violence in our politics — we can and should expect better from candidates for elected office."

Local Democrats in the district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In videos Hoff posted to YouTube, surfaced by former state GOP party official Michael Brodkorb, he admits to digging through Franson's garbage and calls the office of a fellow Republican legislator to tell his legislative assistant that Franson threw away her colleague's photo greeting card unopened. He also mentions in the video that he moved in across the street from Franson and has posted photos of her home and car on social media.

Hoff has a long criminal record, including a felony second-degree assault conviction for wielding a 23-inch machete during an argument. A man had confronted Hoff for waving an upside down American flag from his vehicle.

He faced felony charges for a similar incident but those charges were eventually dropped, reported the the Alexandria Echo Press.

The district swings heavily Republican. Franson won re-election in 2022 with nearly 70% of the vote over her DFL challenger. Franson was also endorsed in her re-election campaign over the weekend.