Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

MAGA candidate’s former mother-in-law pens scathing op-ed calling for her to quit

Former mother-in-law claims that Elizabeth Helgelien ‘raised a murderer’

Ariana Baio
Monday 18 March 2024 19:51 GMT
Elizabeth Helgelien’s resurfaced congress campaign video

A Trump-aligned candidate running for Congress in Nevada’s competitive 3rd district, was the subject of a scathing op-ed accusing her of infidelity, lying and raising a murderer – written by her former mother-in-law.

The piece, published last week in The Nevada Globe about Elizabeth Helgelien, was written by Christine Halseth whose late son, Daniel Halseth, was married to her for 11 years.

Mr Halseth was murdered in 2021 by the teenage daughter he shared with Ms Helgelien, Sierra Halseth, and her boyfriend Aaron Guerrero. The pair stabbed Mr Halseth before setting his house on fire and attempting to flee. They were caught and are now serving life sentences.

In an op-ed titled ,“The Worst Congressional Candidate Ever?”, Christine Halseth said voters should not support Ms Helgelien, a former Nevada state senator now running for the US House of Representatives.

She alleged that her former daughter-in-law cheated on her late son, failed in her duties as a state senator, lied about her educational background, posed for Maxim magazine and abused her own daughter.

“Elizabeth raised a murderer, was forced out of office after a series of sex scandals, was caught in a series of lies, posed for lewd photographs, and has already proven to be unelectable,” Ms Halseth wrote.

“I hope for my family’s sake, and out of respect for voters and the office she’s seeking, that Elizabeth will do the right thing and drop out of the race for NV-3. If she doesn’t, in honor of my dear son Daniel, my prayer is that NV-3 residents vote against her.”

Ms Helgelien was the youngest woman elected to the Nevada state senate in 2010 at the age of 27. She served for one year before resigning amid her divorce from Mr Halseth.

Various scandals followed Ms Helgelien during her time in office. She was accused of lying about having a bachelor’s degree and pursuing an MBA. Her colleagues raised eyebrows after she began missing committee meetings and was difficult to get hold of.

Mr Halseth accused Ms Helgelien of having an extramarital affair and filed for divorce. He was then indicted on battery and lewdness charges following a domestic dispute. He pled guilty to misdemeanour coercion and battery and was given six months probation.

Ms Helgelien alleged that Mr Halseth was abusive towards their daughter and that the “system” did not take the girl’s accusations seriously.

Christine Halseth contradicted these claims, and said that Sierra accused Ms Helgelien of abuse, adding that she had “failed in her role as a mother”.

Following her divorce, Ms Helgelien was awarded custody of her three children and worked as a real estate agent, first in Alaska before moving back to Nevada. She also posed in a bikini as a write-in candidate for Maxim’s “Hot 100” contest.

On her campaign website, Ms Helgelien says that she is running to “finish the job she started” with conservative policies similar to those of Donald Trump.

But Ms Halseth insisted in the op-ed that Ms Helgelien is unfit for office and pointed to her former daughter-in-law’s behaviour during the investigation into her son’s murder.

“At the time of the murder, detectives claimed they were shocked at Elizabeth’s lack of emotion,” Ms Halseth alleged.

The Independent was unable to reach Ms Helgelien directly. The Independent has contacted Woodrow Johnston, an individual who previously issued a statement for Ms Helgelien, seeking comment.

In response to the op-ed, Mr Johnston provided documentation and a statement to The Daily Beast.

“Here are the facts that the documents we’ve attached verify: 1. Daniel Halseth is a convicted batterer. 2. The custody Judge expressed the belief that Sierra was experiencing abuse from Daniel Halseth and ordered sole custody to Elizabeth. 3. Daniel Halseth defied a court order, illegally detaining his daughter. 4. Sierra submitted a letter to the court stating that she was being abused, mentally, physically, and sexually by Daniel Halseth,” he wrote in an email, according to the news site.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in