POLITICS
10/15/2012 06:48 pm ET

Josh Mandel Aide Accused Of Shoving Democratic Tracker

An aide to the Republican nominee for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, is accused of shoving a tracker for a Democratic super PAC, weeks after Mandel had an altercation with the same tracker in an elevator.

A video released by the super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, shows an unidentified Mandel aide blocking the group's tracker, Tyler Hansen, from entering a room where Mandel was hosting a press availability following Monday afternoon's debate against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). American Bridge, a Washington-based group, has hired Hansen to follow Mandel around the state with a video camera tracking his public statements.

Hansen and the Mandel aide had a brief conversation before the altercation took place. The aide had blocked Hansen from entering the room. Hansen then challenged the aide to call security and the aide retreated into the room. The video shows Hansen moving towards the door when the door opens and the aide appears to push Hansen back.

"Dude, don't shove me," Hansen says.

"Leave," the Mandel aide says several times in response.

The aide denies shoving Hansen in the video, saying that he was trying to walk out and that had blocked his path. He reiterates that Hansen is "not media" and cannot enter.

"You were in my way," the staffer says. "I was trying to walk downstairs."

Mandel's campaign spokesman, Travis Considine, was not immediately available for comment.

In late September, Hansen and Mandel had a brief altercation on an elevator in a state office building, when Mandel grabbed Hansen's camera in front of a Columbus Dispatch reporter and an unidentified woman. Mandel stopped touching the camera after Hansen asked him to and then introduced Hansen to the reporter, Joe Vardon, in the recorded exchange.

The following week, Mandel said Hansen had made "physical contact" first in the elevator incident. Vardon's articles on the incident did not mention Hansen touching Mandel. Mandel repeated the claim days later during a television interview.

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