A far-right candidate for the U.S. Senate allegedly threatened to deport family members of the owner of a signature gathering firm who refused to work for his campaign.
Andrew Chavez, the owner of Petition Partners, told the Arizona Capitol Times that Republican Craig Brittain lashed out at Chavez and his family after he declined Brittain’s request to hire Petition Partners to help gather enough nominating petitions to qualify for the 2020 primary ballot.
On August 21, Chavez tweeted a screengrab of texts he received from an unnamed source. At the time, Chavez only wrote that the sender was a candidate he declined to work for.
That candidate, who Chavez later identified as Brittain, lashed out at Chavez.
“F*ckin piece of sh*t be glad you even get to stay in my country. Can’t wait to deport some of your family members. MAGA,” Brittain allegedly wrote. “Deport all invaders and deport anyone who is anti-deportation or pro-amnesty along with them… You are trash just like the invaders. Move to Mexico.”
Brittain allegedly accused Chavez of refusing to work for his campaign “because you are just like all the other lazy invaders on welfare coming across the border.”
Chavez initially declined to identify Brittain, who he described as a long-shot candidate with little chance of getting on the ballot.
“He’s irrelevant. If he makes the ballot I’ll expose him,” Chavez said via text. “I don’t think he will though.”
One week later, Chavez told the Capitol Times he changed his mind after “I ran into him at (the) library and he was yelling at Mexicans.” Chavez also provided more screenshots of his exchange with Brittain that include Brittain’s phone number – the same number listed on Brittain’s own campaign website, where he encourages the public to send him a text.
“He needs to go away,” Chavez said.
Brittain, who filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC in February to run for the U.S. Senate, is best known for his first failed run for office during 2018 election, when the Phoenix New Times surfaced reports that he once operated a revenge porn site, IsAnyoneDown.com.
He’s recently blasted the Arizona Republican Party and President Trump for making the “mistake” of endorsing U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, who he describes on his campaign website as a “Mass Amnesty/Welfare supporter.”
Brittain denied that he sent the texts to Chavez, and called the story “Fake News.”
“He offered to collect signatures 5 times for my campaign. I told him I wasn’t interested,” Brittain told the Capitol Times via text. Brittain later added that Chavez “contacted me 7 times between June and August because he wanted to work for my campaign,” and reiterated that the texts “are fake.”
He complained that his campaign against McSally has received no coverage from the Capitol Times, until now, and criticized the paper for focusing “on a Fake News attack piece and try and aid a series of vulnerable anti-Trump candidates like McSally, (Mark) Kelly and whoever else.”
Brittain also threatened a lawsuit “for publishing defamatory and false material and knowingly acting in bad faith.”