portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states


Candidate Claims Resident Attacked Him

CASPER, Wyo. - A successful legislative candidate claims he was assaulted while going door to door on the campaign trail. Gerald Gay, 48, a Republican, said he was attacked after introducing himself to Walter Schnorenberg, a 78-year-old Democrat.
As Gay tells it, he knocked on a door in a quiet east Casper neighborhood six days before the election and only uttered the words "'Hi, I'm Gerald Gay. I'm the Republican ..."' when he was cut off by Schnorenberg.

"As soon as I spoke the word 'Republican,' this guy had a hold of my left arm and was trying to pull me into the house," said Gay, who had served a term in the Wyoming House from 2001-02.

"So I sort of broke away from him and backed off and said, 'Don't touch me,'" Gay said. "And he started to give me some bit about 'What are you doing?'"

"I said, 'I am campaigning for the state House of Representatives and I am the Republican candidate,' and man, I mean the guy went off a second time," Gay said.

"This time he grabbed me by the right arm and the right shoulder, turned me around, got me by the back of the neck and tried to push me down the stairs of his porch," he said. "And all the while he was swearing - really, really filthy language."

Schnorenberg said he never grabbed Gay.

"That is an absolute falsehood," the retired pipefitter said. "Man, what a phony bastard that is."

The resident said he told the candidate to get off his property.

"I pointed my finger and touched his leather jacket," he said. "I did not pull him in any manner."

But Schnorenberg, a World War II-era veteran, did say he used some coarse language.

"The only thing I might have said is, 'You wrap the flag around your ass to proclaim your patriotism,'" he said. "And I think maybe that was a little bit rude, I don't know."

About three hours later, an officer cited Schnorenberg for assault and battery.

"Apparently the guy is really angry at Republicans. He had some issues there," Gay said. "He called me a 'Bush-head.'"

Schnorenberg readily admits he can't stand the Republican Party because of the damage he says it has done to America and how the party has conducted itself this election season.

"I am very upset about how this campaign has been about Democrats not being patriots," he said. "I served my country, and I don't need any Republican telling me I am not a patriot."

Gay said he contacted police because he didn't want anyone else, in particular Republican women who were out campaigning for himself and other GOP candidates, to run the risk of knocking on Schnorenberg's door.

Schnorenberg is due to appear in Municipal Court on Nov. 19.

Gay defeated Democratic incumbent Liz Gentile for the House District 36 seat.

Schnorenberg said he voted for Gentile.