Ewa Beach campaign for state House turns ugly as accusations arise
EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ewa Beach campaign for state House is getting ugly.
One man is accused of taking down political signs while the other is accused of violence. Now, the courts and police are involved.
Over the weekend, State House Representative Matt LoPresti posted on his Facebook page that he was "nearly assaulted by a violent felon Bryan Jeremiah in broad daylight."
Jeremiah, who is running against him this election year says it's all a lie and he just wants to run a clean race.
LoPresti beat Bryan Jeremiah in the 2014 election. Jeremiah is challenging him again this year. But the campaign is already mired in name-calling and finger pointing.
Republican candidate Jeremiah is accusing the Democratic Representative of removing some of his signs in Ewa Beach this past weekend. On Saturday, the two had an encounter.
"I got out and I approached him and I asked him, 'Matt what's going on?' And he immediately got into the defense mode and said, 'Leave me alone, you're stalking me, if you keep harassing me, I'm gonna call the police and I simply asked him, 'what are you doing,'" Jeremiah said.
But LoPresti tells a much different story.
"He just charged at me and he tried to assault me. I got away, I basically ran away from the guy and he kept coming at me and yelling and screaming."
LoPresti denies taking down any of Jeremiah's signs. But said he did file a police report against him for harassment. LoPresti said he also has filed a temporary restraining order against him, which he said has been granted.
"Sometimes people in public office get targeted in these kinds of ways, and sometimes the safest thing to do is let people know that this is happening," LoPresti said.
Jeremiah said he also filed a police report against LoPresti for harassment and filed for a temporary restraining order against him. But it was denied. Jeremiah said it's not fair.
"We are not stalking him, we are not harassing him, no one is bothering him. But he makes this sensational statements which really hurts us and it hurts our campaign efforts and all we want to do is run a clean race."
Jeremiah said he plans to challenge the temporary restraining order.