A number of candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the state’s new 124th district.
“It’s something she’s always wanted to do,” said Jim Saunders, father of contestant Jill Saunders. “She was involved at a lower level, working in polling stations.”
Jim Saunders says he got caught up in the political discussion.
“It was awful,” he said. “It’s one of the most horrible things that can happen to us.”
According to state police, candidate Elle Rulavage filed a lawsuit late last month alleging Jim Saunders elbowed her in the back for no apparent reason during a break at a campaign event. at the Community Fire Company in New Ringgold, Schuylkill County.
Surveillance video provided to 69 News shows the alleged incident, and Saunders says the allegation is fabricated.
“As the video shows, I take my jacket off with my back to Miss Rulavage when she walks into my arm,” he explained.
In response to the allegation, Rulavage provided this statement to 69 News: “I wouldn’t have reported it to the Pennsylvania State Police unless it happened and I was harassed.”
69 News has contacted Rulavage for further comment and has yet to receive this.
The new 124th District includes parts of Berks and Schuylkill counties. Like many seats in this past election cycle, this one has been hotly contested since the retirement of Republican Jerry Knowles.
Jim Saunders says the allegations are false and continue to hurt his daughter’s campaign.
“People took his road signs,” he said. “We received threatening messages on Facebook.”
State police are investigating the incident.
The primary election is set for Tuesday, May 17.