Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc said he was assaulted Wednesday night in New Hampshire just before his debate with Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, NH Journal reports.
"I am really sorry for what happened to the [husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi]," Bolduc said during the debate. "Nobody should have that happen them anywhere in America, but it’s a sign of the times. It’s a sign of political problems. Republicans and Democrats that fuel issues with people, that get them to the point where they are just so upset at an individual that they strike out at them. It happened to me outside just before I came in here, right? This is wrong, and it needs to be stopped."
The attacker is reportedly a New Hampshire Libertarian Party activist. According to Chris Ager, chairman of the Hillsborough County GOP Committee, the attacker "came at Gen. Bolduc in a threatening way, and he chest bumped or pushed Gen. Bolduc."
Video of the incident shows Bolduc greeting supporters before his debate, while one man can be briefly seen showing his displeasure with a thumbs-down gesture. The man is later seen running up to Bolduc before police intervene and place him in handcuffs. Bolduc can be seen saying, "He hit me."
“It happened pretty quickly, he was approaching him in a threatening way, and it appeared he did push into Gen. Bolduc. I believed it was a threat to the General because of his erratic behavior before that," Ager said, adding that the man was shouting profanities at Bolduc and was acting in a threatening manner.
“He was saying irrational things before the encounter and using a lot of foul language,” Ager said. “He earlier had to be separated from another gentleman when he got into a confrontation.”
The suspect is Libertarian activist Joseph Hart/AKA Joa Orga, who has a history of confrontations with police that include allegations of stalking behavior.
Hassan responded to the incident Thursday morning on Twitter.
"The behavior of the Libertarian Party agitators toward Don Bolduc last night was despicable," Hassan wrote. "I want to thank the Goffstown Police and St. Anselm College for their commitment to keeping everyone safe."