A Texas man running for Orange County GOP Chairman was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly attacked a man who called him a "RINO."
Jerry Wilson, 70, told a local news station that he got into a fight with a man who replaced his campaign signs at an early-voting location with signs urging people "not to vote for RINO Jerry."
The term RINO, or Republican in Name Only, is a derogatory term most often used by other Republicans to describe politicians who identify as Republican but may not share the same conservative views.
"I walked over to him and said 'you're pulling up my signs and destroying them.' He said 'what are you going to do about it?'" Mr. Wilson recalled on Tuesday. "It was a fight. He was landing punches, too. I can tell you this: He will remember the day. Whatever my punishment is, I'll take it. If I had to do it over again I don't think I'd change one thing. He deserved what he got."
Mr. Wilson said he's been engaged in a long-running feud with the man.
"I've been in politics a long time," he told the station. "If your sign you've meticulously placed is pulled up and replaced by somebody else's signs — I was so damn mad and he was sitting there. This feud has been going on long enough. I'm 70 years old. I try to be as good a part of my community as I can."
Mr. Wilson said he will remain a candidate for GOP chair. He was arrested on an misdemeanor assault charge and released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond, the station reported.
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