New Hampshire’s Republican Senate candidate Donald C. Bolduc was the victim of an attempted assault moments before his Nov. 2 debate against incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), his campaign announced.
According to video footage circulating online, Bolduc was among a cheering crowd of supporters outside the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on the Saint Anselm College campus late on Wednesday when the attacker, who hasn’t been identified, allegedly “hit” him.
“He hit me. He hit me,” Bolduc is heard shouting in the clip, although it is unclear from the video owing to law enforcement quickly apprehending the suspect and blocking the view.
Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general, also mentioned the incident near the end of the second and final debate ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
“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. Happened to me outside just before I came in,” Bolduc said, noting that this kind of behavior is wrong and needs to be stopped.
The Army veteran referred to the attack while responding to a question from a moderator who asked what he would do to prevent incidents of political violence in the United States such as the recent hammer attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.
Angie Wong, a spokeswoman for Bolduc’s campaign, denounced the incident on social media, confirming that Bolduc was unharmed and “his attacker arrested.”
“We’ve got to stop the political violence encouraged by hate speeches from our leaders. [Bolduc] was attacked before his debate tonight. Luckily he is ok and his attacker arrested,” Wong said on Twitter.
It is unclear if the assailant is a supporter of the Republican nominee’s Democrat opponent.
The New Hampshire Goffstown Police Department was unable to comment on the matter Thursday night.
According to Kevin Donohoe, Hassan’s campaign communications director, the suspect is a “libertarian party activist” who also targeted volunteers of Hassan’s campaign.