Hassan Campaign Manager Was Convicted of Barroom Sucker Punch

Democrats had tried to tie Ayotte to past Lewandowski remarks

Maggie Hassan
Maggie Hassan / AP
November 7, 2016

Gov. Maggie Hassan's campaign manager was convicted of drunkenly sucker punching a man over a bathroom line.

Marc Goldberg, then working as a communications director for Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, was convicted in 2009 of simple assault after a court trial, according to legal documents. He was forced to attend anger management classes and received a 45-day suspended sentence for the barroom brawl, as well as a $700 fine. He also received 120 hours of community service.

The victim, whose name was blacked out in reports, "stated that he along with a group of his friends were standing in line waiting to use the restroom," an Alcoholic Beverage Commission incident report says. "When the suspect cut the line and used the restroom out of turn. The male [Goldberg] threw a punch at [the victim], striking him and causing injury."

The investigating officer concluded, "He believed the suspect was intoxicated because of his sloppy clothing i.e. shirt un-tucked, buttons unbuttoned." The victim said he overheard Goldberg "say to a police officer that he did not remember what happened," according to the documents.

The arrest spurred a congressional House ethics inquiry. The review found that Goldberg was "complying with the terms of his sentence" and did not recommend taking any further action against him in December 2009.

New Hampshire Democrats have criticized Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte for the actions of campaign personnel.

In March, Hassan's team dug up four-year-old records showing the freshman Republican praising former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski when he served as the leader of the New Hampshire chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Lewandowski was ousted from the Trump campaign after grabbing reporter Michelle Fields by the arm; charges related to the incident were later dropped. Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Miller told WMUR that Ayotte's compliment "shows a troubling lack of judgment."

"Kelly Ayotte refused to condemn Donald Trump’s dangerous and violent campaign," Miller said. "Ayotte’s praising of Corey Lewandowski, who led the Koch brothers’ New Hampshire operation before running Donald Trump’s dangerous campaign, shows a troubling lack of judgment."

The Hassan campaign did not respond to Washington Free Beacon questions about whether she was aware of Goldberg's violent past when he was hired to work on the governor's election campaign. Goldberg did not respond to request for comment.

The New Hampshire Senate race is one of the most closely contested and closely watched campaigns in the country. It is expected to prove critical to determining the Senate majority in 2017. Ayotte has a 2.4-point lead over Hassan, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.