On Monday evening, a senior staffer for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Trevor Abarzua, nearly toppled over the mother of Dr. Kelli Ward—the former state senator working to unseat McCain—inside a restaurant.
It was confirmed to Breitbart News by the Ward campaign that it was Abarzua, a senior staff member for the McCain campaign, that smashed into Ward’s 71-year-old mother, Dr. Lorraine Byrd.
A handful of McCain staffers piled into the Phoenix venue to disrupt a Ward campaign event, and as Abarzua stood in Ward’s way holding up a cell phone in her face to videotape her, the McCain staffer backed right into Ward’s mother.
Dr. Byrd, who was walking up to the restaurant entrance to meet her daughter as the candidate entered the establishment, was visibly knocked off balance as the McCain staffer barreled into her in his attempt to keep a video camera in Ward’s face.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Byrd explained, “they want to be the future of politics in the US and unfortunately they are learning these kinds of tactics from a man who has bullied his way to nearly 40 years in D.C. The ‘anything goes’ in politics belief needs to change. How about some respect and truth for a change!”
WATCH JOHN MCCAIN STAFFER NEARLY KNOCK OVER KELLI WARD’S MOTHER:
The event Monday night was labeled as a meet and greet for Ward, but as the event got underway it was taken over by a large group of young McCain staffers and volunteers. One McCain staffer who was present Tweeted that this was normal course of business for the campaign.
— Alexandria (@alexandriamhigh) June 28, 2016
The Twitter photo was taken outside of the room in the restaurant where Ward was holding her meet and greet.
“The McCain camp’s tactics are definitely crossing a line when they endanger the health and safety of my family,” Kelli Ward said in a statement to Breitbart News. “They can try to intimidate me all they want. I can handle it. But my family is off limits. Period. Thank goodness my mother is okay.”
Ward added that these actions by the McCain campaign prove he is “running scared.”
“Clearly McCain is running scared silly. His poll numbers must look worse than he does. Apparently I’ve got the momentum,” she said. “People are sick and tired of intimidation tactics like these. Career politicians will do anything to win re-election so they can stay in Washington. It’s time to send a message that this sort of behavior is unacceptable. It’s time to Retire McCain.”
In previous campaign events, according to the Ward campaign, #teammccain groups have shown up at Ward events and aggressively stick cameras in supporters faces and snap pictures. The McCain team has also, the Ward campaign says, taken pictures of the license plates of supporters cars in the parking lots of events.
The late date of the primary, which doesn’t come until August 30 this year, gives Ward an advantage as challengers typically need more time to develop fundraising and support bases—especially against entrenched incumbents like McCain.
The McCain campaign and Abarzua himself have not responded to Breitbart News requests for comment.