Photos and video have surfaced that show Matt Doheny, a GOP congressional candidate in upstate New York, getting close to a woman who is not his fiancee recently at a Washington, D.C. bar.
The New York Post released a video of him with two women, which the paper says shows "his hand ... sliding over the backside of Monica Notzon, a fund-raising consultant to his campaign."
Gawker posted grainy photos of the same incident, in which Doheny appears to be kissing Notzon.
The campaign strongly denied the allegations.
"These pictures demonstrate nothing more than two old friends joking around as they sat with other friends," said campaign spokesman Jude Seymour in a statement following Gawker's report. "It's sad that Democratic operatives would lay in wait as a group of friends enjoyed a nice evening, but then the Washington special interests will stop at nothing to keep Bill Owens in Congress."
The statement, responding to the "hit piece" published by an "irresponsible blogger," also included a quote from Doheny's fiancee. "Matt and I are looking forward to being married this summer," said Mary Reidy. "This is a very special time in our lives. I am deeply saddened at the state of journalism and politics that a so-called ‘news' source would run a picture so out of context."
The Watertown Daily Times reports that Republican Party leaders dismissed the photos and are standing behind the candidate.
Doheny is challenging Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), who won a special election in 2009 after Republican John McHugh became secretary of the Army. The Cook Political Report rates the race as "lean Democratic."
Video via New York Post: