Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino threatened to "take out" a reporter following a heated exchange, spotlighting his reputation for making impulsive and outlandish comments.
The dustup occurred Wednesday when New York Post State Editor Fredric Dicker asked Paladino to prove his accusation that Democratic challenger Andrew Cuomo cheated on his ex-wife while the couple were still married.
"What evidence do you have for something most people would consider a smear?" Dicker asked.
Rather than respond to the question, Paladino accused Dicker of sending a "goon" to photograph his young daughter, who was born to a mistress and kept secret from his wife for a decade.
"You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy!" Paladino told Dicker.
Pushed again for proof of the accusation against Cuomo, Paladino told the Post, "At the appropriate time you will hear it."
On Wednesday, Paladino accused Cuomo of cheating on then wife Kerry Kennedy and challenged the media to find dirt on the Democrat instead of him.
"Has anybody asked Andrew Cuomo about his paramours?" Paladino asked Politico.com in an interview.
Cuomo has never previously been publicly accused of infidelity.
Calls and emails to the Paladino camp were not returned today, but the campaign put out a press release calling conduct by the Post and Dicker "unacceptable" for trying to photograph his 10-year-old daughter.
"We believe this conduct puts Carl Paladino's daughter in harm's way, susceptible to kidnapping or sexual predators. This behavior by The New York Post and their senior political editor Fred Dicker is unacceptable. Endangering the safety of a 10-year-old child is repugnant," read the statement.
"We challenge Fred Dicker to ask Andrew Cuomo this question on the record, since it has been posed repeatedly to Carl Paladino: 'Did you engage in extramarital relationships while you were married?' A simple 'Yes' or 'No' will suffice."
Post editor Col Allan denied today that the Post sent a photograph to take pictures of Paladino's daughter.
The allegations against Cuomo and the argument with Dicker are the most recent in a series of scandal-making flare-ups for Paladino that includes inappropriate emails, offensive comments, and details about his personal life.
"In a short amount of time, he's developed a reputation for being fast and loose with the facts," said Stu Rothenberg, editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.
"He's one of these candidates who anything he says or does is an attempt to mix it up. In short, he's a loose cannon," he said.
In a state where Republican candidates are typically moderate, Paladino promised to "take a baseball bat to Albany." His tough talking style gave him an easy victory in the Republican primary over former congressman Rick Lazio.
Paladino's reputation for ignoring political correctness, sometimes at the risk of being offensive, earned him the backing of the Tea Party movement.
When Paladino announced his candidacy a series of emails he wrote or forwarded came to light, which included pornographic images including bestiality and profane and racist language.