Minot lawmaker barred from flight after run-in with TSA

October 28, 2021 GMT

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota lawmaker was barred from boarding a flight at Minot International Airport this week after a run-in with a security agent during a pat down.

Republican Rep. Jeff Hoverson says he and his wife were planning to travel Monday for their anniversary. Hoverson says a Transportation Security Administration agent said he was going to give him a pat down but did not ask permission.

Hoverson said he moved the agent’s hand away.

TSA said in a statement the pat down was initiated when Hoverson set off the alarm in the screening machine. The agency said Hoverson objected during the pat down and called the police, Hoeverson eventually complied, but the airline made the decision to deny boarding, TSA said.

Hoverson said everyone overreacted, including himself.

Hoverson is a pastor and among the most far-right legislators in the GOP-controlled Legislature. He introduced legislation last session to repeal mask mandates in the state. He also unsuccessfully sponsored legislation that would make it a felony to help women get abortions, including by giving them rides to abortion clinics.

And as a freshman legislator two years ago, Hoverson protested a prayer by a Hindu cleric, saying he didn’t “want to be compelled to pray for a false god.”