Don Bolduc, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, reportedly avoided an attacker’s punch just before taking the stage for Wednesday’s debate with Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Bolduc, 60, a retired Army brigadier general, was unharmed during the incident. Police identified the assailant as Joseph Hart, 37, of Greenville, R.I.
“Prior to that debate, dozens of supporters were on hand for both candidates,” local police said in a statement. “During that time, St. Anselm College instructed a male party that they were no longer welcome on their property.”
“A short time later, a disturbance occurred when Mr. Hart approached Mr. Bolduc who was greeting his supporters,” the statement continued. “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.”
The Bolduc campaign said in a statement the incident was proof that it’s “time to lower the temperature of the political discourse in this country” and expressed gratitude towards local law enforcement for their quick response.
Incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan has led in the polls for most of the campaign, but two recent polls have shown Bolduc ahead, and RealClearPolitics now projects him to win the race.