The Erie County GOP released a video Wednesday night of House candidate Jack Davis appearing to strike a GOP volunteer.
The 15-second video shows Davis, the independent candidate in the state's 26th Congressional District special election, being asked about why he withdrew from the debates with the major party candidates, Democrat Kathy Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin.
As the cameraman edges closer, Davis appears to strike the volunteer, known as a tracker.
The video, which also appears to show a Davis staffer getting physical with the cameraman, was initially forwarded to reporters by the county Republican Party. The National Republican Congressional Committee forwarded it to reporters shortly afterward.
Republicans have shown increasing concern that Davis was helping boost the Democrats' chances of winning the seat. The NRCC released a web ad Wednesday labeling him a "Democrat" and accused him of supporting President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). It's expected to follow up with a paid TV spot shortly.
Davis, who has run for Congress before as a Democrat and a Republican, is no stranger to controversy. During a run for the House in 2008, he said, "We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work."
The Buffalo News reported he echoed those remarks when he was interviewing for the special-election nomination with the seven GOP county chairmen in the 26th district earlier this year.