Former U.S. Air Force Colonel Rob Maness is squaring off against Covington City Councilman Mark Wright for the state representative seat vacated by John Schroder. Maness also has a show on WGSO 990 AM.
Maness took a call from a guy who goes under the handle “Flaming Liberal.” Here’s what happened next:
Maness had been jovial moments earlier as he and the caller discussed Roy Moore, who is running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. Maness had just finished criticizing Republican leaders for working against Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with multiple teenagers in the late 1970s.
But his tone changed abruptly when the caller, who identified himself as “Flaming Liberal,” said that even Cruz had asked Moore to step down. “If you’re to the right of Ted Cruz, you’re an extremist,” he said.
“Whoa, you just called me an extremist, brother,” said Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who went on to outline his military background, including top-secret clearances.
“I’ve done everything this country has ever asked me to do. How dare you call me an extremist,” he said. “I’m the most investigated, stable man that the country could have ever given the keys to nuclear weapons to, so you can blow me! You can blow me and get out of here if you’re gonna talk like that and call me an extremist.”
The caller, David Bellinger, a former New Orleans resident who described himself as a frequent talk radio caller, returned fire, saying “Go screw your ma, a-hole,” several times before Maness asked his producer to cut the caller off.
Maness’s opponent, Mark Wright, sent out a statement attacking Maness.
“Our political debate in Louisiana has begun to sacrifice substance for political points,” Wright said in a prepared statement. “State representatives must be respectful of opposing views during debate and consideration of legislation. While no one is perfect, I commit to do that as a representative of District 77. My opponent’s response to a caller on his Monday night show is a clear example of what we don’t need in Baton Rouge.”
The race between Maness and Wright has become more heated in recent weeks. Both men have launched attacks on each other with Maness attacking Wright as a “career politician” and “Washington lobbyist” and allies of Wright have attacked Maness as a perennial candidate and political extremist.
Wright has been surging in the polls according to sources. He also has taken nearly twice the amount of money Maness has since the runoff. Finally, Wright has won the endorsements of the other candidates who failed to reach the runoff and the St. Tammany Republican Executive Committee.
But turnout is expected to be very low, so it is anyone’s race to lose.
UPDATE: Maness just tweeted this
— Col. Rob Maness ret. (@RobManess) November 15, 2017