Last Updated on November 3, 2022
New Hampshire U.S. Senate candidate, Don Bolduc, a Republican, was physically attacked prior to a debate with his opponent, Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan. According to a report from TB Daily News, Bolduc was attacked by a self-styled “first amendment auditor” who has been arrested in the past for interfering with law enforcement investigations.
Joseph Hart of Rhode Island was apprehended by police and charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct after the incident took place. Goffstown police said that Hart assailed the Republican senate hopeful as he was greeting supporters outside the venue.
“Officers converged on the area and all parties were separated. Following that disturbance, Mr. Hart was taken into custody by the Goffstown Police Department and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct,” a spokesperson for the department added.
Here's the video of the anti-police activist attacking Don Bolduc (R) as Bolduc was walking to the #NHSen debate. The activist has a YouTube channel full of videos in which he purposely gets into confrontations with police👇pic.twitter.com/OxduyP0rne
— RRH Elections (@RRHElections) November 3, 2022
According to the Bolduc campaign, Hart “attempted to punch the General and was quickly apprehended and arrested.” Later that night, during the debate, Bolduc urged viewers to “lower the temperature of the political discourse” in America.
Bolduc’s opponent, Maggie Hassan disavowed the attack on her Twitter account, adding that “Libertarian Party agitators” were responsible.
Hart had previously uploaded videos of him “auditing” law enforcement officials and other public servants. During one 2019 “audit,” Hart was arrested for filming and harassing officers who were speaking with a domestic violence victim, TB Daily News reported.
Don Bolduc is one of several Republican Senate hopefuls looking to unseat a sitting Democrat Senator. According to recent polls, he has a great chance to do so. New Hampshire, along with Nevada, Georgia, and possibly even reliably blue Washington, could flip the balance of power in the Senate to the GOP, according to recent polls from Trafalgar Group.
Don Bolduc (R): 47% (+1.3)
Maggie Hassan (D-inc): 45.7%
⦿ 4-point shift towards Bolduc from Sept when Hassan was up by 3 points
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) November 3, 2022
This incident isn’t the first of its kind. Heated rhetoric toward “MAGA Republicans” from the White House and mainstream media have become commonplace. Notably, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, Lee Zeldin, was attacked by a person wielding a knife. The attempted assassin was soon released without bail.
The incident involving Hart and Bolduc is under further investigation, according to Goffstown Police.