GOP downplays domestic violence allegation against candidate as a 'private moment'

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The National Republican Congressional Campaign is defending candidate Dan Rodimer, whose campaign says no charges were ever filed.

A spokesperson for the House Republican campaign arm on Thursday dismissed allegations of domestic violence against Dan Rodimer, a GOP candidate in Nevada, as a "private" family moment.

According to the Associated Press, in 2018, Las Vegas police officers responded to two separate 911 calls from Sarah Duffy, Rodimer's then-girlfriend, "alleging domestic violence and that Rodimer had stolen guns and jewelry belonging to her, according to police records."

A National Republican Congressional Campaign spokesperson downplayed the allegations of violence on Thursday and accused Rep. Susie Lee, Rodimer's Democratic opponent, of spreading idle gossip.

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"Susie Lee must be incredibly desperate if she's begging reporters to write gossip columns about private moments between Dan and his wife," the spokesperson told CBS News in a statement, noting that no charges were pressed against Rodimer in those incidents.

Rodimer and Duffy are "happily married with five young children and a sixth on the way," Sinclair added.

Alex Melendez, Rodimer's campaign manager, also brushed off the allegations on Wednesday, telling the AP that "like every couple, they have had some verbal disputes over the years."

Rodimer has had other run-ins with law enforcement. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge in Florida following an altercation at a Waffle House and completed six weeks of anger management classes, the AP reported. He faced two other assault allegations in Florida between 2010 and 2013.

Sinclair's statement came in response to a call on Wednesday from the Democratic campaign arm for the NRCC to "cut ties with their candidate given his dangerous and violent past."

Rodimer is a top Republican candidate and part of the NRCC's "Young Guns" program, which "identifies candidates across the country who embody the principles of the House Republican Conference," according to its website. Rodimer is a "contender," the middle of three tiers of support from the national Republican Party.

As of Friday morning, Rodimer was still listed as a part of the program.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the head of the NRCC, joined the majority of House Republicans in voting against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in April 2019. The bill sought to build upon the original Violence Against Women Act by enhancing protections for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

It also would close the "boyfriend loophole," which would prevent women and men convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun. Current law only applies to spouses and family members.

Lee voted in favor of the bill, but it remains stalled in the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring it up for a vote.

The race between Lee and Rodimer is rated "Lean Democratic" by the Cook Political Report.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.