HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- WSAZ.com was at Marshall University on to cover what was supposed to be just a brief meet and greet. But it erupted into something much different Tuesday.
Before Elliott "Spike" Maynard, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Third District seat in West Virginia, even had a chance to speak to the crowd, a heated exchange erupted. It happened between Maynard and Christopher "Chris" Smith, a 27-year-old former registered Republican.
Here is what they had to say:
Smith: You've been kicked off the (W.Va.) Supreme Court how many times?
Maynard: What? Is this a set-up?
Smith: No, it's not a set up, sir. We're here for Rahall.
Maynard: Good, you should be. Degenerates like you should be.
Smith: Degenerates? That's what you call people like myself? Degenerates?
Maynard: Look at ya.
Smith: My question is how do you expect voters of the third district to vote for you?
Maynard: I didn't come here to answer your questions. Good morning.
Smith: You didn't come here ... Well, I'm a constituent of yours, sir. I'm a constituent of yours or potentially.
Smith even served as the president of his high school's Young Republican Club in the late 90s. He's volunteered in state politics for more than 10 years for both Republicans and now Democrats. WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline spoke with the Maynard campaign.
Here's their response to what happened:
"This fella wanted attention, and he certainly got it. Spike Maynard is a true West Virginian. He's from Mingo County and he responded like any southern West Virginian would. Are you saying his response was appropriate? I'm not here to comment on the appropriateness of the response. Mr. Maynard can do that himself," said Robert Ryan, Maynard’s campaign attorney.
When asked if this is the image a savvy politician running for national political office wants to present, the response Ryan gave again was, Maynard is a southern West Virginian and, when confronted, that's the image that he gave.
Maynard is running against Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall.