Wheatley responds to allegations of pushing campaign worker at polling place

PITTSBURGH — 8:30 PM UPDATE: The Wheatley campaign has responded to the allegations made against the incumbent state representative for the 19th District.

In the statement, Rep. Jake Wheatley's campaign said the allegation was a "sad, political attempt for political theatre on Election Day."

"Jake was alerted by the City Vice Chair of the Democratic Party that there was a poll worker for the Abney Campaign who was harassing voters, as well as a Wheatley poll worker." the statement continued. "The Judge of Elections had complained and it was communicated to Rep. Wheatley. Jake Wheatley was alerted and requested to visit the location; and when he arrived, the complaint lodged against the problematic Abney campaign worker was confirmed by the Judge of Elections.

"Jake Wheatley was then verbally taunted by the Abney worker. Thus, a confrontation ensued. Jake Wheatley then left the premises to continue to greet voters in other parts of his district."

6:02 P.M. UPDATE: Kyle Stewart told Channel 11 Wheatley got in his face and pushed him up against a parked car. He says police told him they would file a harassment charge against Wheatley.

"When we're out here working hard every day for someone we believe in, we're going to stand up for democracy," Stewart said. "And that's not democracy right there; that's thuggish tactics that alienates people from democracy."


5:27 P.M. UPDATE: The campaign worker told Channel 11 that he was harassed and pushed by state Rep. Jake Wheatley, the incumbent representative for the 19th District.

Stay with WPXI.com and watch Channel 11 News NOW for more details.

Also, a county spokeswoman issued a release saying a judge of elections at that polling place reported that two people were involved in a verbal argument outside the building.

Elections Court officials sent deputies to the polling location, where they found Pittsburgh police already taking a report, she said.

Channel 11 has reached out to Wheatley's campaign for a response but has not yet heard back.

ORIGINAL STORY: A candidate for the Pennsylvania Legislature says one of his campaign workers was attacked Tuesday at a polling location.

Aerion Abney, running for the 19th District seat in the House of Representatives, says he had a campaign member at a poll location in Downtown Pittsburgh on Penn Avenue.

He says the worker was hit and pushed against a parked car, but the worker is OK.

We've got a crew arriving on the scene to get more information.