Dr. Ron McDow, opposing incumbent Steve Dickerson in state Senate District 20 Republican primary, was accused of spousal abuse in court filings he now denies, reports the Nashville Post.
Like Dickerson, McDow is a medical doctor, but he also founded a successful, multimillion-dollar company specializing in cryotherapy technology. McDow is a Republican National Convention delegate for Donald Trump and a member of the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statewide Executive Committee since 2014.
And according to a series of court filings in the early 1990s and the mid-2000s, McDow was allegedly an abusive husband.
Asked about the claims Monday, McDow denied that he was ever violent with his then-wife, Mary Wester.
“The allegations are not true,” McDow said.
However, Wester took out an order of protection against McDow in November 1990, after which a restraining order was issued. McDow was later ordered to vacate the house that December. Wester filed for divorce, but the couple reconciled in 1992. Yet another order of protection was issued in August 1993 and stayed in place until June 1994. And multiple filings in the couple’s 2005 divorce allege repeated instances of physical and emotional violence.
Wester declined to comment on the specifics of her past allegations, stating only, “I stand by what I filed.”
…“Divorce is an adversarial process — a lot of claims are exaggerated, you know,” McDow said. He called Wester’s lawyer “a liar,” and said, “It’s a serious problem that attorneys are allowed to defame people in court.”
…During the course of the divorce proceedings, as battles over the the $20 million estate (which included the business, the couple’s $1.4 million Nashville home, several million-dollar Florida condos — including one at the Trump Tower in Miami — and up to $4 million in gold and silver bullion and rare coins) grew heated, both McDow and Wester were found in contempt of court. Both were sentenced to 10 days in jail, although each only served 12 hours.
Yet McDow says he now is “on good terms” with Wester and that she signed his petition to run for Senate.
“I wish you would ask about the real issues in the race — that’s what’s important,” McDow told the Post. “That’s the real story — our party is split down the middle.”
It is perhaps a demonstration of this schism that McDow himself has previously donated to Dickerson’s campaign, giving $125 in 2010 and $500 just last December. When asked why he donated so close to deciding himself to run, McDow said that after his donation he became uncomfortable with Dickerson’s support for the Legislature to vote on medical marijuana and Dickerson’s lack of support for a ban on Syrian refugees in the state.
Dickerson’s campaign declined comment about the allegations.
Erin Coleman, the Democrat running for the seat, said stories like this show that “every part of America” is affected by domestic abuse.