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story.lead_photo.caption Dawn Clemence (left) and Greg Leding

State Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, admitted acting unacceptably aggressive toward his opponent after a candidate forum Tuesday night. He apologized in a statement issued today.

Dawn Clemence of Fayetteville, his Republican opponent for state Senate District 4 seat, described the account of the beginning of the confrontation in Leding's apology as a lie. Leding was not responding to comments she made after the forum, she said.

Video of the event shows Leding going up on stage, standing close to Clemence, following her closely as she tries to step aside and then at least two steps back, pointing his finger and putting his hand on her shoulder before abruptly leaving.

Leding's statement says, in part: "I've worked very hard to serve all the people who live in the district I represent -- work that has consistently included legislation and advocacy for women, teachers, students, firefighters, working families, and more -- and that work's been misrepresented in this campaign. I was frustrated, but it's not acceptable to act on that. I apologize to Mrs. Clemence."

Clemence described Leding's statements to her during the encounter as uninterpretable and vulgar, and an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate her after the forum at the University of Arkansas last night.

The incident was captured on video, but audio was poor. Clemence said the video was taken from the Leding campaign's own live stream of the event, which Leding confirmed. It was posted on social media, including the state Republican Party's Facebook page. She said audio files are being cleaned up technically and will be released shortly.

"I think all women should be believed, including this conservative woman," Clemence said in a statement, echoing earlier remarks by Leding in support of the "Me Too" movement against harassment of women.

"I am aware that you issued a statement" of apology, Clemence said her statement. "I would remind you that I do have your Facebook Live feed and audio. That is [a] bold faced lie. Unprovoked, you were pointing your finger and yelling at me, using vulgar language, intimidating me, blocking me and threatening me."

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Archived Comments

  • mozarky2
    October 24, 2018 at 4:34 p.m.

    This cowardly POS will probably be returned to his seat in the Arkansas House by the voters of Fascistville.

  • Packman
    October 24, 2018 at 4:40 p.m.

    Simple solution: Mrs. Clemence's husband needs to kick this bully's a$$.

  • mozarky2
    October 24, 2018 at 6:10 p.m.

    Leding has insane eyes. This incident will only give him street cred with the voters of Fascistville.

  • Dblclutcher
    October 24, 2018 at 6:15 p.m.

    He is a despicable man that needs to resign for his behavior.

  • mozarky2
    October 24, 2018 at 7:08 p.m.

    Being a dimocrat means never having to say you're sorry, but that shouldn't protect you from an azz-whoopin'.

  • pauljohnson
    October 24, 2018 at 7:37 p.m.

    Leding apparently is following in Trump's footsteps, although he claims to be a Democrat. The time for abusing women is over with. I hope Dawn Clemence tears him up in the election. It's time for men to stop abusing women. "Me Too" movement must step up to the plate and defend themselves from idiots like Leding (a loser).

  • mozarky2
    October 24, 2018 at 7:56 p.m.

    Brutal comments on his Facebook page...

  • Murphy01
    October 24, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.

    Yeah he's following footsteps alright, those of Waters, Booker, Harris, and the rest of the low class libs that harass and call for the harassment of officials as they go about their business. Shout them down, get in their faces, looks like Leding has learned from his leaders in Washington

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    October 24, 2018 at 8:45 p.m.

    How rude and socially unacceptable who raised this heathen ? he will lose the election for the loser that he is.

  • pravda
    October 25, 2018 at 9:47 a.m.

    this evil leftist should have a conversation with Mrs. Clemence's husband, or if he needs a surrogate I'm sure there are plenty of us who would love explain to this puke how you should respect women, if he bowed up to my wife like that, well, he would realize he shouldn't ever do it again, ole' gimp eye, he looks like a deviant

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