Marisa Simonetti loses Republican endorsement after tarantula toss, assault charges

Marisa Simonetti will not have the endorsement or recommendation of the 3rd Congressional District Republican Party in her bid for Hennepin County Commissioner. 

The dropped endorsement comes after Simonetti was arrested in Edina and charged with misdemeanor assault after an alleged argument with her housemate that included the toss of a tarantula down a set of stairs.

Randy Sutter, Chair of the 3rd Congressional District Republicans, released the following statement Friday:

"In consultation with our Nominating Committee, I am announcing that the 3rd Congressional District Republicans do not endorse or recommend Marisa Simonetti for any elected office in this district. Simonetti does not reflect our values. In her representation of herself as a Republican, she has only served to embarrass the Republican Party."

"In light of the recent arrest of Marisa Simonetti for domestic assault, coupled with significant other information about her that has come to our attention after our meeting, the 3rd Congressional District Nominating Committee is withdrawing its previous recommendation of her candidacy for the Special Election for Hennepin County Commissioner. Simonetti has not sought recommendation for the General Election for Hennepin County Commissioner District 6 position. "

Tarantula toss

Simonetti says she rented space to a local attorney, Jackie Vasquez, who needed a quiet place to study for the California Bar Exam. However, the arrangement fell apart in less than three weeks.

In the five-bedroom home, Simonetti was living upstairs, and Vasquez was staying on the lower level. There are questions about whether Simonetti should have been renting out space since she's not the homeowner. 

The dispute apparently started because Vasquez was complaining of a "spider infestation."

Simonetti says the complaints were nonstop, finally asking Vasquez to leave, but she wouldn’t. She claims that Vasquez then sent harassing messages. 

Vasquez started recording video and Simonetti blasted loud Christian music, banged pots and pans, and screamed.

"Perhaps I should have invited her up for tea and crumpets," Simonetti said in response to the escalating confrontation.

The confrontation included Simonetti tossing a tarantula and various other items down the stairs – a move she said was an ode to the movie "Home Alone".

"I mean, there is an element of humor to that movie, and at the end, what was I supposed to do?" Simonetti told FOX 9’s Karen Scullin in an interview this week.

Vasquez says she wasn’t a squatter and paid $1,500 to stay there. Simonetti confirmed Vasquez did pay, but then talked in circles when questioned regarding who owns the home.

Despite the incident, Simonetti says she will still run for Hennepin County Commissioner.

Simonetti responds to CD-3 GOP

Friday evening, Simonetti responded to the district Republicans in a post on X, writing, "The @GOP @GOPMNCD3 is not interested in winning candidates who have the kahunas to create real change. They are interested in grifting and wasting time. This is why CD3 Chair, Randy Sutter, was telling people to take my signs down after we made it through the 4/30 primary."

Case status

There is a judge's order for the two to stay apart. Vasquez has since moved out of the home.

Simonetti was granted a public defender, and her next court appearance is mid-July.