State House Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville shoved former Rep. Steve Hall during a Thursday night radio broadcast forum for candidates in the House District 18 Republican primary, reports the News Sentinel.
James Corcoran, another of the four candidates in the GOP primary, described the scene at the forum, hosted by talk radio’s Hallerin Hilton Hill.
During closing arguments, Corcoran said, Daniel claimed he was the only businessman running for the office, and Hall began yelling in rebuttal.
“(Daniel) jumped up and bolted over to (Hall) and standing over him. (Hall) was uncomfortable and tried to stand up. As he stood up, (Daniel) pushed him,” Corcoran said.
Corcoran, who said he was seated between the two, said the situation escalated quickly. But the shove was at the end of the altercation.
….”At the end of the show, one of my opponents attacked me, yelling that I was a liar and aggressively gesturing at me while I made closing arguments. I do not take lightly my integrity being questioned. I am an imperfect man who makes mistakes, but I strive always to be honest,” (Daniel said in a news release)
“Somehow, there was no intervention during the escalation before this brief encounter, but I am very grateful that it did not go any further. I regret that such a productive conversation escalated so quickly into a situation that I am not proud of and that was completely counterproductive to efficient democracy.”
The radio station’s report (The post includes audio of the confrontation and post-confrontation commentary):
An on-air forum among four candidates for the 18th District State Representative seat became heated between two of the candidates. The incident happened Thursday afternoon on the Hallerin Hilton Hill Show. Steve Hall accused Incumbent Representative Martin Daniel of lying while campaigning. Daniel threw off his headphones, confronted Hall, then pushed him. Show producer Chris Marion broke up the incident and Daniel later returned to the studio to apologize for his actions. Candidates James Corcoran and Bryan Dodson were also part of the conversation but were not involved in the scuffle.