27 November 2012
A Republican Congressional candidate who lost heavily in November's elections has now been charged with domestic assault.
Brad Staats, 43, who describes himself as a 'family matters' conservative, was arrested early on Sunday morning at his home in Hermitage, Tennessee.
Police had received a phone call from his wife Bethany Staats, claiming that he had slapped her during a disagreement.
The police affidavit states: 'Ms Staats did have a red mark on her left cheek consistent with her statement.'
'Mr Staats when questioned stated that during a verbal argument he pushed his wife Ms Staats down onto a bed then left the location,' the report continues.
Brad Staats, the former candidate for Tennessee's 5th District and father of four, was booked into Davidson County Jail at 3.39 am on Sunday.
He was charged on one count of misdemeanor domestic assault, posted a $5,000 bond and was later released. A trial date has been set for February 7, 2013.
Staats' bid for Congress failed in the November 6 election. Five-term Democrat incumbent Jim Cooper polled 65 per cent of the vote, while Staats only managed 33 per cent.
A former performing artist, Staats describes himself on his campaign page as a: 'Conservative small businessman who believes we need new leadership if we want to move our country in a different direction.'
Staats had promised to defend 'traditional marriage' and the 'social values of the people of Tennessee' if elected.
In his concession speech, Staats paid tribute to his wife, telling his team that that there was 'no way' he would have run for Congress is she hadn't said yes.
Bethany Staats described the campaign as a 'team effort' and praised her husband for 'working hard and doing the right thing'.
Staats' campaign caused a stir when he posted a picture of his handgun on Facebook, along with the words: 'Here is something that I usually have with me. Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama'
Staats strongly denied that the message was ever meant to be a threat in an interview with the Tennessean: 'Absolutely not. I’m not one of those that would ever threaten the president. He’s probably got enough of his own stuff to worry about without me.'
He clarified his position to Tennessee's WKRN: 'I do want President Obama to know as well as the rest of Congress and everyone else regarding our constitutional, rights don't tread on America's constitution.'
'I think that your liberties, your life can be defended by the proper instructed use of a handgun,' Staats added.