Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., on Monday alleged that the husband of his primary opponent assaulted one of his staff members during a campaign event over the weekend.
In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Zinke said Rick Todd, the husband of his opponent, Mary Todd, was seen destroying and removing campaign material from an event space at the Montana GOP kickoff in Helena.
Mary Todd’s campaign has denied Zinke’s allegations.
Zinke said staff told Rick Todd to leave and he “grew aggressive,” forcibly pulling a sign from his staff’s hands while yelling at them and other witnesses.
Zinke alleged that Rick Todd then punched one of his staff members, while yelling at others who were trying to get him to walk away.
Zinke cited witnesses as saying Rick Todd “aggressively approached” his staff, “apologizing for his actions while being told again by event organizers to please leave my staff alone.”
ANDY KIM GAINS MOMENTUM OVER NJ FIRST LADY IN DEMOCRATIC SENATE CONVENTION TO REPLACE BOB MENENDEZ
Per Zinke’s telling, Mary Todd then approached his staff and admitted her husband’s guilt, telling his staff and witnesses that is “wrong and shameful” for her husband to have assaulted one of Zinke’s staff members.
“This is not the first time Mr. Todd has acted aggressively on the campaign trail,” Zinke said. “During the 2022 campaign, he verbally accosted my wife and my female staff. This behavior is simply unacceptable.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE APP
Zinke said he was not going to press charges, believing the episode “is better resolved with a personal apology.”
Todd’s campaign told Digital in a statement that Zinke’s allegations were “categorically false and defamatory.”
“After the Congressional Primary of 2022, my husband Rick and I did donate two $1000 checks to Ryan Zinke’s campaign,” the campaign said. “We also hosted a fund raiser in our home, in his honor. What the Zinke campaign is calling ‘campaign material’ is one of our checks which they enlarged and publicly displayed at the GOP winter Kick-Off in Helena. My husband was understandably upset because our private information was on display. He did not punch anyone. Zinke, on the other hand, resorted to slanderous lies.”
Digital reached out to Zinke’s campaign for further comment.