Newmarket GOP chair Joe Barton with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

Nov 4, 2014 7:10 PM

Newmarket, NH, GOP chair claims he was assaulted by AG rep at polling place

NEWMARKET -- A Republican town official was arrested for disorderly conduct at the Newmarket polling station Tuesday night, after challenging a voter's credentials.

Newmarket Republican Committee Chair Joe Barton said he observed a voter who did not present identification, and who did not sign a voter affidavit. He protested when the supervisor of the checklist declined to act on his concerns.

Barton said an investigator from the Attorney General's office soon arrived and began to question his right to challenge voter credentials.

"At that point, I realized he was not going to investigate my complaint, so I went downstairs to leave and as I passed the exit door, he grabbed me, threw me outside and started beating me up, at which time I went into the fetal position so I wouldn't get my head bashed into a brick wall."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards would only confirm that Barton was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct by Newmarket police.

"There's a criminal investigation ongoing and we have a responsibility to not interfere with the criminal investigation," she said.

Barton said there were many witnesses to the incident, and that he plans to speak to an attorney about interviewing them and pursuing a complaint of his own. He identified the AG investigator as Peter Favreau, assigned to the consumer protection and antitrust bureau.

Barton was held briefly at the Newmarket Police Department and bailed on $40 personal recognizance.

The GOP activist is no stranger to controversy. He has been at odds with members of his own party in recent years, including a highly publicized incident in 2011, when he attacked Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, for refusing to support right to work legislation.

He later lost a bid to lead the New Hampshire Young Republicans in 2013.

"It's always been friendly," he said. "Even the incident with Sharon Carosn has been amicably resolved. I just want to maintain fairness and the rules."


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