Paul Debate Stomping Caps an Odd Campaign Year

Photo: Strangest Moments of the 2010 Election Season: Nazi Uniforms, Witchcraft Denials, and Obscenity Charges: The Year in Politics

A volunteer for Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul who was videotaped wrestling a liberal protester to the ground and stepping on her head said it was not as bad as it looked and offered an apology.

"I'm sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand's safety," Tim Profitt told The Associated Press.

Lexington, Ky., police said Proffitt, of Paris, has been served a criminal summons to appear before a Fayette District Judge on an assault complaint.

Lauren Valle, of the progressive group, was wearing a wig and said she planned to present the tea party-backed candidate with a fake award before a debate with Democratic candidate Jack Conway Monday night in Lexington.

Photo: Strangest Moments of the 2010 Election Season: Nazi Uniforms, Witchcraft Denials, and Obscenity Charges: The Year in Politics
Woman Stomped on at Rand Paul Rally

Television footage shows Valle's blonde wig being pulled off before she's pinned to the ground. A man then puts his foot down on her head a couple times and presses down on her.

Valle said the incident left her with "a bit of headache" but the incident did not require any extra medical attention. Paul's campaign released a statement calling the altercation "incredibly unfortunate" and expressed relief that Valle was not injured.

Around the country and across the aisle, this year has seen its share of offbeat candidates, ardent supporters, and groan-inducing gaffes.

As next Tuesday's election gets closer, tensions have risen across the country and campaigns -- and candidates -- have reacted in ways ranging from the outrageous to the outlandish.

In no particular order, presents the Most Colorful Campaign Moments of 2010:

The Madam, the Panther and 'The Rent Is Too Damn High'

At New York's only gubernatorial debate Republican Carl Paladino and Democrat Andrew Cuomo were joined by five minority party candidates -- one seemingly more eccentric than the next.

Candidates at the October debate included a convicted madam running on a legalize-pot platform, a Green party candidate who has a day job at UPS, a Black Panther turned city councilman, a Libertarian lawyer who moonlights as a screenwriter, and a self professed karate expert with an outlandish mustache and a single message: "The rent is too damn high."

Kristin Davis, a former madam who claims to have procured prostitutes for former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, quipped she was the only candidate with experience enough to handle the "whores" in state capital. But, the breakout star of the debate was Jimmy McMillan, a retired mailman and founder of the Rent is Too Damn High Party, who wore gloves during the debate, advocated bulldozing mountains in upstate New York and ended each of his rambling responses the same way: "the rent is too damn high."

Also, Tea Party favorite Paladino left the stage to use the bathroom as other candidates were making their closing statements.

Rich Iott's Nazi Uniform

When photographs surfaced last week of House candidate Rich Iott wearing a Nazi uniform, the Ohio Republican admitted it was him with the SS insignia on his lapel, but called the images' publication "false character attacks."

Iott insisted his interest in Nazi Germany was purely historical. In a statement, he said he joined a historical reenactment group to bond with his son and had not meant to offend anyone.

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