An open-air town hall hosted by Katie Porter’s campaign for Congress at Irvine’s Mike Ward Community Park was interrupted by a physical altercation that led to one arrest on Sunday, July 11, according to Irvine Police Sergeant and Public Information officer Karie Davies.
“Our officers were on scene for the event,” Davies wrote in an email to Irvine Weekly. “There were opposing opinions at the town hall. It got heated and punches were thrown. One man received a bloody nose. The suspect was arrested, given a citation and released from the scene. The commotion happened at about 3:45.”
The opposition was led by Porter’s conservative opponent, District 45 GOP Congressional candidate Nick Taurus.
A post on Taurus’ Instagram page shows that an email from his campaign encouraged supporters to attend Porter’s July 11 Town Hall, “in force” with the intention to, “voice our extreme displeasure with the actions that she and her fellow Democrats are taking.”
Taurus’ campaign, Nick Taurus For OC, has been vocal about introducing anti-immigration laws, and recently posted about the need for a 25-year immigration moratorium.
Porter’s campaign did not respond to Irvine Weekly’s request for comment, however, the U.S. representative addressed the issue on national networks.
“We advertised it as a family-friendly event, but there were people who advertised a ‘Confront Katie Porter Rally.’ they attended the event, as they were welcome to do, but they began to shout and eventually violence broke out. It was disappointing and scary – especially for families and seniors,” Porter said.
In terms of trajectory, other than his outspoken stance on social issues, Taurus is a relatively unknown candidate, having signed his Statement of Candidacy on June 15. As of July 15, Porter’s campaign for Congress filed a July quarterly report with more than $4.8 million in donations for her congressional campaign, Katie Porter for Congress.
With nearly $4.9 million in donations since January, Porter’s campaign currently ranks within the top five candidates in the House.