ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Jack Davis, the third-party candidate in a special election in New York’s 26th district, appears to hit the camera of a Republican Party member asking him why he won’t participate in a debate.
“Hey, you want to punch it out,” Davis asks the cameraman when questioned why he “backed out” of the debate.
Davis then appears to strike the camera, and laughs as he makes his way to the car without answering.
Davis’ spokesperson Curtis Ellis told local station WIVB that the Republican operative was “harassing and assaulting a candidate for federal office.
“This person was pushing a camera in Jack’s face, preventing him from getting in his car,” he said. “Standing in his way, trying to antagonize him and trying to get video that would look like far more than what actually happened.”
Davis’ candidacy and his endorsement from some Tea Party groups has made the race a tough one for GOP candidate Jane Corwin, who was initially considered a shoo-in to win in the heavily Republican district in western New York.
But latest polls show a tight three-way race between Corwin, Davis and Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul, who has made the Republican plan to reshape Medicare the central focus of her campaign.
Davis released a statement Wednesday saying he won’t participate in the debate.
“I will not lend my integrity and my reputation for honesty to a forum with two politicians who will say anything to get elected,” he said.