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Candidate And Rival's Supporter Square Off In Parking Lot
Candidate Anthony Mele launches into shouting tirade after seeing a rival's supporter in local grocery store parking lot.
According to accounts taken from the scene, congressional candidate Anthony Mele stormed out of a parked RV at the store to confront a York Kleinhandler supporter in an attempt to get him to stop talking to voters. Mele berated the Kleinhandler supporter for his support of Kleinhandler, demanding that the supporter bring Kleinhandler to the parking lot so the candidates could square off in an impromptu debate. However, the Kleinhandler supporter did not back down, challenging the candidate to campaign on ideas that matter instead of engaging in the politics of personal destruction. Mele was also challenged on his unanswered allegations regarding his past and asked how Mele could claim the Constitution as his platform when Mele was trying to suppress his right to free speech.
The brief, but visible confrontation was over in a matter of minutes when Anthony Mele retreated to the confines of his parked recreational vehicle. The Kleinhandler supporter went on to continue to distributing literature and speaking with voters. Moments later, police officers were called to the scene where they made Mr. Mele's RV leave the premises.
This incident marks the third embarrassing event for the Mele campaign in the last few weeks. Two weeks ago, the candidate was caught attempting to circumvent rules set for a debate by a local Lions Club by trying to pack the forum with supporters, causing the Club to cancel the event. Then, the Mele campaign issued a press release citing fictitious poll data claiming to be the front-runner and refused to acknowledge the gaffe even after the Associate Press, the organization behind the test poll, publicly admitted the information was fictitious as the poll was a test of their system. Only after the new spread throughout the district and to some national media outlets, did Mele acknowledge the mistake.
Kleinhandler, who was not at the store, has been acknowledged as the front-runner in September's primary after defeating Mele for the Republican Party nomination in Rockland, Westchester and the Bronx.
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York Kleinhandler is the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party's candidate for Congress from NY-17. York has been endorsed by the National Defense PAC, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly NY Chapter and Combat Veterans for Congress.