Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

New Hampshire: Rematch Between Charles Bass and Ann McLane Kuster Gets Rough

A newly surfaced tracker video shows attorney Ann McLane Kuster (D) verbally and physically engaging with a staffer to the campaign of her rival for New Hampshire’s 2nd district, Rep. Charles Bass (R).

As has been increasingly common in recent cycles, the context of the video is an annoyed Congressional candidate and a persistent videographer. For 30 seconds, Kuster and the videographer tussle over the camera, and the clip concludes with Kuster saying, “Eff him.”

The video first surfaced Tuesday on the New Hampshire Journal, a conservative website. The incident took place on Friday in Concord at an event with Vice President Joseph Biden.

The New Hampshire Union Leader confirmed that the tracker was Bryan Klepacki, a staffer for the Bass campaign. Kuster campaign manager Garrick Delzell described Klepacki as an “aggressive tracker.” He said there were several minutes in which Klepacki had pestered Kuster leading up to that point in the video.

In a formal written statement this morning on the matter, Kuster described the incident as “political bullying aimed at keeping Congressman Bass in political power at all costs.”

“I am eager to debate the issues with Congressman Bass in a respectful and civil way, but I won’t tolerate the Bass campaign’s attempts to intimidate me,” she added.

The Bass camp pushed back against the bully charge.

“There’s only one person in the video who’s initiating contact. It’s Annie Kuster who reaches out and rips the camera away from our staffer, so the video speaks for itself in that regard,” Bass spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said.

“This is an extremely common practice, the idea of campaigns and political parties employing people to canvass public events,” he added. “This was a public event in a public place in the statehouse steps in Concord.”

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

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