Don Brantz, the Libertarian candidate running for Joni Ernst’s open state senate seat in Iowa, gave an interview last night on local news about the sexual assault charges he is currently facing in Nebraska.
“Peggy claims that I pinched her in the butt and grabbed her breast. Now, if you’re attacking someone, I’m not sure that’s what you do,” he told the news crew as he explained what happened. Although he was advised to not speak about the incident, he’s ignoring his lawyer’s advice. “By not saying anything, you’re guilty.” He has not, however, outright refuted the accusations.
It’s not clear exactly who “Peggy” is in relation to the candidate — police departments do not typically name sexual assault victims and Brantz says she is a friend of his ex-girlfriend who came to him “for money” and “help” because he is a “rich farmer.” He said the same thing back in October when he was questioned by the news station. He says that his interactions with Peggy went south when his ex-girlfriend and Peggy got into a fight. (It’s not clear, either, why his ex-girlfriend was present at the time he was assisting Peggy with taking her elderly mother to the doctor.)
“She attacked, and then I lost it,” he admitted. “So then I grabbed her, and threw her, ” he told the camera as he smiled. He admits that he may have, in the heat of the moment, threatened to kill her. “My regret is swearing at her. If you’re strong — you just suck it up.”
The news station reached out to Peggy for comments, but she asked them to use her first name only, and told them she is still in fear for her safety from Brantz.
There’s obviously much more to this story — but the admissions that Brantz has made, so far, are convoluted and disturbing.
The election for Ernst’s empty state senate seat takes place on Dec. 30.