Crime

Texas GOP Candidate Arrested For Assaulting Man At Polling Place Who Called Him A ‘RINO’

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Texas man running for chairman of the Orange County Republican Party was arrested Tuesday for assaulting a man at a local polling place.

GOP candidate Jerry Wilson, 70, says a man pulled up at the Raymond Gould Community Center during early voting and replaced 20 of his campaign signs with signs telling people “not to vote for RINO Jerry.”

RINO stands for “Republican in Name Only.”

Wilson told KFDM he’s had a long-standing feud with the man.

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When he confronted him, there was a scuffle, which broke up before police arrived.

"We had a brief conversation with the combatants and it became very clear who the assailant was,” Vidor Police Chief Dave Shows told the Orange Leader. “Mr. Wilson admits to his conduct and he was taken into custody.”

Shows said the other guy was an “elderly man with obvious injuries.”

“This is unacceptable behavior, in my opinion, and it is unfortunate that it occurred at a polling place,” Shows added.

Wilson has not pulled out of the race and he defended his actions at the polling place.

"I've been in politics a long time. If your sign you've meticulously placed is pulled up and replaced by somebody else's signs--I was so damn mad and he was sitting there," Wilson told KFDM Tuesday. 

"This feud has been going on long enough," Wilson explained. "I'm 70 years old. I try to be as good a part of my community as I can. I walked over to him and said 'you're pulling up my signs and destroying them.' He said 'what are you going to do about it?' It was a fight. He was landing punches, too."

"I can tell you this - he will remember the day," he continued. "Whatever my punishment is, I'll take it. If I had to do it over again I don't think I'd change one thing. He deserved what he got."