The hopeful wardens of Florida’s Democratic Senate, Rep. Val Demmings, appear to have pushed a man to the ground at a campaign event earlier this month.
FloridaPolitics.com reported: Tuesday about the incident, sharing two videos of the encounter, which the site said the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
The videos were later shared by a spokesman for Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who hopes to replace Demmings.
The individual turned out to be a campaign tracker, a person hired by the opposing political campaign or party to monitor and film a candidate, in case they commit a gaffe, which is to the advantage of the rival can be used.
Florida Democratic Senate Guards, Hopeful Rep. Val Demmings, appear to have pushed a man to the ground at a campaign event earlier this month, video of the incident shows
Democratic Representative Val Demmings is running for her party’s nomination for the United States Senate in next week’s Florida primaries and is expected to win. She will be on the ballot against GOP Sen in November. Marco Rubio
FloridaPolitics.com said the scuffle took place Aug. 6 during a meet-and-greet for Demmings at Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park in Mims, Florida, near Cape Canaveral.
The security guards appear to be employees of Ardent Protection, according to the website.
A shorter clip shows the first encounter, with black-clad guards pushing the man down as he protests, ‘what the hell are you all doing?’
They order him to stay downstairs.
In a second, longer clip, a guard is heard bragging, “During corrections, I turned people like you upside down in prison.”
“Except I don’t do bad things. I’m not one of those people. I’m just doing my job. That is it. I’ve been good to you,’ replied the unknown man.
A fiery guard yells, “Don’t touch me. Oh my God.’
“I’ve been so good, and you guys are just ridiculous sometimes. I just want to be equal,’ the man said.
FloridaPolitics.com said the man was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Demmings’ communications director for the campaign, Christian Slater, supported the guards’ behavior.
“Security officers take potential threats and threatening behavior towards the Chief seriously,” Slater told FloridaPolitics.com.
Demmings was the Orlando Police Chief before running for Congress in 2017.
A spokesperson for Republican incumbent Senator Marco Rubio shared both videos on Twitter on Monday
“In this case, the individual failed to respond to multiple requests to leave and attacked security personnel in pursuit of Chief Demings’ approaching vehicle,” Slater added.
The Republican National Committee suggested that Demmings was a hypocrite because members of her party had called for the definition of the police force.
“It’s easy for Democrats like Val Demings to call police ‘very considerate’ and violent riots ‘a beautiful sight’ when she has her own private security to back her up,” said RNC spokesman Julia Friedland.
The ex-police chief has not called for the police to be relieved, calling the idea “just crazy” in a June campaign ad.
Florida Democrats are largely expected to choose Demmings as their Senate candidate — and face Republican incumbent Senator Marco Rubio in the fall — in Tuesday’s primaries.
A poll conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, released Tuesday, showed that Demmings led her two main opponents by a whopping 76 points.
The same poll showed the Democrat Rubio led the general election by 4 points, slightly outside the margin of error of 3.4 percent.
Another recent study, released by the Republican-leaning Center Street Political Action CommitteeRubio is 11 points ahead of Demmings.
Republicans have gained a foothold in Florida in recent years, with former President Donald Trump carrying the once-swinging state with ease in both 2016 and 2020.