After raising a flabbergasting amount of money — more than half a million dollars — in his first three months of campaigning, Tim Canova can now call himself the first bona fide primary challenger in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's career. To prove that point, Canova, who is challenging the Democrat for her seat in the House of Representatives, is now proposing that he and the congresswoman debate each other, an idea Canova says Wasserman Schultz is less-than-enthused about. He says he's sent at least three letters to Wasserman Schultz's campaign about the idea and gotten no response.
If it weren't obvious that Wasserman Schultz views Canova as some sort of horsefly she ought to swat, Canova tweeted a clip today that claims to show Jodi Bock Davidson, a Wasserman Schultz district director, ripping a cell phone out of a Canova campaign staffer's hand.
We didn’t get a clear answer, but this was the response from one of our opponent’s staffers: pic.twitter.com/Iv0ESbbySj— Tim Canova (@Tim_Canova) April 11, 2016
In an interview with New Times, Canova said the incident occurred at the "grand opening" for the Broward Democratic Party's new offices in Plantation yesterday.
"One of my campaign staffers was filming, and Debbie's staffer grabbed the phone out of his hand," Canova said. "It happened two times. One time, she actually stuffed the phone down his pants."
He said the staffer, campaign organizer Pablo Menvielle, was wearing a "Canova for Congress" T-shirt and wasn't saying anything at the time.
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"I guess Pablo was not on the list of people allowed to film her," Canova said.
Canova added that he also approached Wasserman Schultz with a print copy of the letter he'd sent her, asking for a debate.
"I tried to hand her a copy of the letter, but she wouldn’t take it from me and told me to hand it to an aide," he said. "She was not very pleasant."
New Times has asked the Wasserman Schultz campaign about the incident. We'll update the post if we hear back.