Lieutenant governor candidate in court over abuse allegation
UPDATE: Protective order against lieutenant gov candidate tossed
A Republican candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor appeared in court Friday on accusations made by his wife that he had been persistently verbally abusive, stalking her at work and keeping her away from family.
The woman obtained a temporary protection-from-abuse order against Teddy Daniels, who is running for the GOP nomination in this month’s primary. Daniels, who was ordered to stay away from his home and forbidden from having any contact with his wife, has claimed the allegations are unfounded and that he was the target of “political terrorism” meant to damage his campaign.
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The hearing on the protective order was being held in the Wayne County Courthouse in the Pocono Mountains, where Daniels and his wife have a home in a gated community.
Daniels, 47, is one of nine candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the state’s May 17 primary, running with the endorsement of a leading candidate for governor, Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano.
Both are vocal supporters of former President Donald Trump. Daniels has said he, like Mastriano, was outside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrectionist riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
In a handwritten petition, the wife told a judge that Daniels, who is 6-foot-4 and 360 pounds (1.9 meters and 163 kilograms), is “always angry at me” and “continuously” curses at her, threatening to kick her and their son out of the house if he loses the campaign. The woman said he stalked her at work, “screaming at me, making me cry” and that his anger toward her has caused her to have panic attacks.
Last August, she said, Daniels grabbed her shirt, pulled her to his face and said, “Don’t you ever speak to me like that,” the petition said. He also threatened to kill the family dog and has made two previous attempts to take his own life, his wife said.
For his part, Daniels has said he was “swatted,” or targeted with bogus calls leading police to his home. Without offering evidence, he has accused Rolling Stone magazine, which first published word of the April 26 protection-from-abuse order, of being “closely involved with a series of phone calls made to police from out-of-state in which false police reports were made against me at my home.” Rolling Stone has said it stands by its story.
This week, Daniels’ lawyer, Jennifer Gilliland Vanasdale, said in a video posted on Facebook that she had interviewed numerous witnesses and planned to present evidence in court.
The Rolling Stone article “was a political hit job designed to try to take down Teddy Daniels just prior to the primary election,” she said.
President Judge Janine Edwards granted the temporary protective order, which also gave Daniels’ wife temporary custody of their child and ordered Daniels to turn over his guns.