Republican Rep. Rodney Davis’ campaign field director was arrested and charged with aggravated assault Wednesday night after an altercation involving the Illinois lawmaker’s Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.
Levi Lovell was arrested at a Londrigan campaign event at a local bar, according to WCIA Chicago reporter Mark Maxwell. Lovell reportedly shouted at Londrigan, a businesswoman and former aide to Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin, and then punched someone at the event. Springfield Police confirmed to Roll Call that Lovell was booked into the Sangamon County detention facility.
WCIA showed video of Lovell following Londrigan and her husband around the bar at a campaign event as he tried to ask “menacing questions” while recording on his cell phone.
The response from the Davis campaign was swift.
“As soon as I was made aware of the incident, his employment was immediately terminated. This campaign has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or violence of any kind,” campaign manager Matt Butcher said in a statement.
Londrigran said she was “relieved that my family, staff, and supporters are all ok and that this incident didn’t escalate even further.”
“I am disturbed that someone would show up to an event and try to harass and intimidate me and my family, but he is sorely mistaken if he thinks that it is going to slow me down one bit,” Londrigan said in a statement. “Nasty, divisive politics do nothing for our community.”
Londrigran’s campaign manager Emma Brown also called on Davis in a statement to answer whether he or his campaign was aware that Lovell would be at the event, or if he was directed to be there.
Davis apoligized to Londrigan, her husband, and everyone at the event in a statement Thursday.
He said his former staffer’s actions “go against everything I stand for and go directly against what I have been promoting, which is more civility in politics. This kind of behavior will never be tolerated on my campaign or with anyone on my staff.”
Davis is a Democratic target this year. President Donald Trump carried the central Illinois-based 13th District by 5 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.
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