A Republican seeking his party’s nomination for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in next month’s primary has threatened one of his eight opponents that he plans to confront him in person on a Facebook post raising questions about his history simply because it mentioned his wife.
The back-and-forth between two candidates in a competition across the state this spring largely overshadowed by the appointment of races for governor and US Senate began Thursday.
That’s when State Rep. Russ Diamond of Lebanon County released a six-minute video containing documents about opponent Teddy Daniels’ disability payments, his police career, and its decision to sell a debt-free home just months after a charity for veterans gave him the deed. .
“I find it disturbing that Mr. Daniels is as a kind of great American hero,” said Diamond in the video. “And even more disturbing that some decent Republican voters, patriots and workers succumb.”
Daniels, whose pugnacious campaign style had previously drawn complaints from two other GOP candidates for lieutenant governor, responded a day later with his own Facebook post, calling Diamond a loser and his claims “a slimy video snake oil salesman”.
Daniels said he took particular umbrage that Diamond said Daniels’ wife was listed in state records as the organizer of a marijuana security firm with an address in Coatesville.
Daniels warned Diamond to expect a confrontation when “you and I will be in the same room, I think twice, before the primary.” Republican candidates for lieutenant governor are expected at a campaign event Friday near Wilkes-Barre.
“I’m curious to see what you’ll do with a man standing in front of you, now you want to bring my wife into things,” Daniels said in the video. “You are the lowest, scummiest, dirtiest form of a thing on the face of the earth. And boy you poked bad bear “.
He said Diamond was “going to have to respond to that and it will not be on a video. OKAY? Just so you know, just so you’re aware. This is something that must be addressed “.
Diamond said in a phone interview Wednesday that he’s not afraid of Daniels.
“It’s easy to be a tough guy on the Internet,” said Diamond.
Daniels also referred to protective orders that were made against Diamond many years ago and a video in which Diamond was recorded referring to police as liars. Daniels did not respond to multiple requests for an interview made by a campaign press secretary.
Daniels is running with the endorsement of a top contender for the GOP gubernatorial nomination — State Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County — and relies heavily on his law enforcement and background. military while showing enthusiastic support for former President Donald Trump.
Daniels’ divisive campaigning style prompted two of the other Republican primary candidates, former state Rep. Jeff Coleman and New Castle Mayor Chris Frye, to release an appeal last month asking Daniels and Mastriano to stop what they called negative attacks, name-calling and the spreading of false information.
“When you escalate the rhetoric to that level, there’s no going back,” Coleman said Wednesday. “But more importantly, it deflects the conversation away from voter issues and turns it into a personal grudge match.”
Daniels, whose helmet camera video of himself filmed in Afghanistan in 2012 has been viewed online millions of times, was granted the Coatesville home by the Military Warriors Support Foundation in December 2016. Diamond said the deed had been transferred to Daniels in January 2020, and in October of that year he sold the property for $167,000.
A spokeswoman for the foundation, Casey Kinser, said Daniels met the group’s requirement that his family live in the home for at least three years and attend a financial literacy program.
“At this point, it is for them to choose what they do,” Kinser said. “Obviously we would prefer families to stay where they are, but life circumstances sometimes take them somewhere else, that’s fine.”